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Female Initiatives at Morgan Stanley

Supporting the progression of women into senior roles is a key strategic priority for Morgan Stanley’s senior leadership teams worldwide.

The correlation between gender-balanced teams and improved decision-making, innovation and performance aligns with our core values of leading with exceptional ideas, putting clients first, and doing the right thing.

Women in Finance Charter

Morgan Stanley International, the firm’s UK-headquartered subsidiary, is proud to be a signatory of the UK Government’s Women in Finance Charter.

“Each business develops a customized approach to driving increased ownership and accountability for the progression of women into senior roles, while also staying true to the firm’s meritocratic principles,” says Robert Rooney, CEO of Morgan Stanley International and Head of EMEA.

“This intensity of focus, as well as regular discussion on metrics and progress with my European Operating Committee, is something I am passionately committed to and actively champion.  I am delighted that Morgan Stanley International has signed the UK Women in Finance Charter.”

Ongoing Female Recruiting, Retention & Development Initiatives


  • School Outreach Program:  Senior female role models are aligned to high achieving state and independent schools to raise awareness of the industry and attract future talent.
  •  “Step-In, Step Up” initiative:  Morgan Stanley runs a three-day “insight” program for female A-level students twice yearly.
  • “Strategize to Win” female skill building and networking events
  •  “Return to Work” Program:  Since 2014 Morgan Stanley International has offered 12-week paid internships to women professionals with experience in the Financial Services industry looking to restart their career. In 2016 the program expanded to Budapest.   

Retention and Development

  • Examples of our female career development programs include:-
  •  “Project Career”:  Development conferences for all women one level below Officer.
  •  “Project Impact”:  A four-month development program for high potential female Vice-Presidents.
  •  “Platinum”:   A seven-month development program for female Executive Directors with Managing Director potential.
  •  “ISG Connects”:  A six-month mentoring initiative for high potential female talent in the Institutional Securities Divisions. 

Providing Additional Support

  • Women’s Business Alliance:  Providing inspiring speaker events on business development and career management and an opportunity to grow internal and external networks.
  • Family Network:  Providing support, learning and skills development opportunities to assist with family or other care-giving responsibilities.
  • Maternity Coaching:  Providing support for women before, during and after returning from maternity leave. Additional training is provided for managers on being proactively supportive.
  • Back up child/elder care support:  Providing every employee with 120 hours of annual back up child and elder care support per dependent.

Gender Diversity Targets

Acute focus on female recruiting

  • Increase overall EMEA female full-time and summer analyst hiring percentage by 5% by 2019.
  • EMEA CEO has set an aspirational target for most divisions, including front office, for their female full-time and summer analyst hiring to be at 50%.
  •  Introduce Division Head season kick off meetings to drive increased ownership, accountability and creativity in our diversity hiring efforts.
  • Increase the impact of Divisional Diversity Campus and Experienced Hiring Champions.
  • Increase intensity of focus on increasing female representation on experienced hire candidate shortlists.
  • Enhance Return to Work Workshop to target experienced returners for current vacancies.

Increase and strengthen the senior pipeline

  • Increase overall EMEA female officer representation (Vice-Presidents, Executive Directors, Managing Directors) by 2.5% by January 2019.
  • Set aspirational EMEA divisional female Executive Director and Vice-President representation targets.
  • Establish regular dialogue with the manager of every high potential female Executive Director in the Managing Director promotion pipeline focusing on development plan, platform and profile.
  • In addition to the existing “Project Impact”, “Platinum” and “ISG Connects” initiatives, launch a new program for high potential women one level below Officer.
  • Reinvigorate Senior Mentorship Program and sponsorship focus to increase connectivity of Senior Management with high potential women.
  • Increase exposure of high potential female Executive Directors to female Managing Director role models with launch of new Speaker Series.
  • Appoint Diversity Champions in all smaller regional offices to execute a focused plan of action and organize cross-regional meeting to share best practice.  Each Country Head to give annual progress update to the EMEA CEO.
  • Continue focused line manager development program on giving effective feedback, inclusive leadership and nurturing employee career development.
  • Make formal and informal flexible working more accessible, acceptable and visible.

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