Empowering more women in investments

November 2018

Do you (or someone you know) enjoy solving problems, or working closely in teams and welcome the opportunity to constantly think and learn about how the world works?


From left to right: Sandra Lee, Jennifer Nguyen, Victoria Place, Ming Niu.

For those in our investment team, their day-to-day roles let them do just this—working in a global industry with great opportunities. A career in investments requires them to constantly learn about many and varied topics, and is incredibly rewarding and motivating. It’s the place where economics, business, politics and broader environmental and societal issues intersect.

How they got there

We recently spoke with four fantastic, experienced and well-credentialed women who are forging their career paths in our investments team about their roles and how they came to work in investment management.

Sandra Lee, Manager Infrastructure Investments has had a 20+ year career in finance and investments.

“For me, it’s not just about identifying investments that generate long-term and sustainable investment returns. It’s also about seeing the investments in some of these projects in their embryonic stage grow into fully-fledged assets of great significance, used and/or relied on by cities and potentially millions of people.”

Ming Niu, Investment Analyst

“No day is ever the same. I could be producing research reports presenting on technology companies, analysing investments and/or settling trades. My role is very broad—I’m always prioritising, making decisions, thinking analytically and interacting between teams.”

Victoria Place, Investment Analyst

“I completed a Commerce degree at university and started out in the custody area of a bank—which is how I became familiar with investment management. It’s only through changing roles, to become an asset consultant at Mercer, that I found my way into investments in super—I wish I’d known about it as an option earlier.”

Jennifer Nguyen, Investment Analyst

“After I completed a Master of Financial Analysis, I started working in the financial services industry straightaway. After a few years, I went overseas and interned at UBS Asset Management with the hedge fund team in New York—that’s how I started out my career in investment management.”

Dogged as it is by a perception of having a blokey, inflexible “Wolf of Wall St” culture, the investment space has long suffered from a women drought—starting right from the entry level. A recent study by Mercer showed that women are less likely to study courses leading to finance careers, with men studying economics at an almost 2:1 ratio to women.

However, other studies have shown that women are often better investors because of different approaches to thinking about risk and change, as well as empathy and often more nuanced engagement skills. So with that, and the fact that super’s an ever-growing industry, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement and career development.

The investment industry is an inspiring environment to work in and we encourage you to guide the young women in your lives to consider investments as a career.

What’s UniSuper doing about it?

We recognise this gap so over the coming months, we’re looking to develop specialised campaigns and programs focused on trying to ensure more girls consider:

  • doing relevant degrees at university (e.g. commerce, finance, economics, business, STEM), and
  • a career in funds management and investments upon graduation—including an internship program launching in mid-2019.

Breaking the glass ceiling

Hear more from two of our female executives, Anna Leibel and Lee Scales, about breaking the glass ceiling and non-traditional career trajectories.