Stephanie Li is on her way to pursuing her lifetime dream of a career in financial services.
She is the inaugural recipient of the Plato Investment Management Women in Finance Scholarship, and feels the award can help break down some of the barriers women face in the finance field.
The scholarship was established at The Australian National University (ANU) in 2019. It supports female students pursuing honours within the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics (RSFAF) at the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE).
"I appreciate that society attaches great importance to the cultivation of women in the finance industry, and it also inspires me to strive towards my goals," says Stephanie.
Dr Don Hamson, Managing Director of Plato Investment Management, hopes this award will help address the strong gender imbalance in the financial services industry, particularly in investment management. The scholarship aims to make a lasting impact on a student's life by enabling and encouraging them to pursue a world-class ANU honours degree.
"At a practical level, having done an honours year myself, I know how tough and challenging it can be," says Dr Hamson. "Hopefully this scholarship can help recipients by enabling them to focus on their studies in that challenging period, rather than having to work to make ends meet."
He hopes the award inspires talented women to consider finance as a valid and rewarding career path.
"Industry-wide, a more diverse workforce is something we all must work towards, and scholarships such as these should help inspire women who might be hesitant or nervous about entering a male dominated industry."
The scholarship provides the opportunity to complete a paid internship with Plato Investment Management at their offices in Sydney. This will prepare recipients for their future careers by helping them build connections, gain hands-on experience and insights into the finance industry.
"The internship offered by Plato Investment will help me apply what I have learned, training me to a higher level and laying a solid foundation for my goal of becoming a financial leader in the near future," said Stephanie.