The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board are backing Canada’s first university program designed to open the asset management sector to more women.

Participants in the 14-week summer program, which is open to female students from Western University’s Ivey School of Business, will complete a paid 10-week internship at one of eight financial sector organizations, including the CPPIB and PSP Investments. The four-week classroom portion will include lessons on portfolio theory, behavioural finance and stock valuation.

Read: Women in Canada’s benefits, pension industries discuss gender equity, reversing pandemic-fueled ‘she-cession’

In Canada, just 14 per cent of institutional investment fund managers are female. In a press release, Sharon Hodgson, the dean of the Ivey Business School, said the program is also designed to help its participants take a leading role in asset management institutions.

“It’s not simply about increasing the number of women participating in asset management, but also seeing women remain in the industry and advancing to senior leadership. Ivey is fortunate to be able to partner with many of Canada’s leading financial institutions that also share this vision.”

Read: Less than 12% of senior roles in alternatives industry held by women, research finds