'Fostering the next generation of female talent': Q&A with F3's Camilla Love

This story was originally published in Industry Moves. You can find it here.

This week, we revisit Camilla Love, managing director of eInvest and founder of F3 - a program designed to inspire more and more young women to pursue careers in finance. She tells us of some "cracker projects" from participating F3 students, shares some highlights and special mentions, and reminds us all how we can get involved to change the future of the industry for the better.

What have been the highlights of the F3 project since we spoke in October last year?

There have been very many. Whether it be that F3 has helped over 50 school and university girls find experience within the financial services, testing and trying out a career that they see as fulfilling; or possibly seeing the light bulbs go on after they understand the practical outcomes and create meaning to their finance lectures; to the self confidence and belief that young women gain after going through the F3 program - they know that they can do it and that possibly a career finance really is for them.

I’ve just recently had a university student, Daisy, tell me that she saw me visit her school two years ago and because of the funny and engaging panel F3 held, she chose to do a business degree at university. She put her name down for F3 work experience late last year and is now going through an F3 6-week online work experience opportunity with Marni Lysaght at Perennial. The cycle works!

It’s truly wonderful and very rewarding.

Based on current expectations, F3 will offer work experience to nearly 100 young women by the end of 2019. Our next big scary audacious goal is 1000 students. 

F3 has been presenting at schools and universities – what areas of finance have young female students been particularly interested in?

Young females are just interested in learning about just what finance is and to see women like them in the industry. They really don’t know much about the different segments of the market. However, there has been a lot of interest in Private Equity and M&A. Whether that be just because it's trendy and the hip place to be right now, I’m not sure. But it’s the minority that knows exactly what they want to do.

"Our next big scary audacious goal is 1000 students."

Have there been any 6-week projects completed that you can tell us about - or is this still something that F3 is working towards?

There has been some absolute cracker projects involved with F3 teams - From reviewing workers rights and supply chain in the ASX 200 to recommending a counter bid (or not) to a takeover offer that was live in-play at the time, to pitching a stock idea to an investment team - these 6 week projects have had it all and the girls have loved every moment of the learning experience. It has been a steep, uphill learning curve but all girls have risen to the challenge. F3’s corporate partners are the better for it. Seeing the same problem you solved yesterday through another generation's eyes has had some rewarding results for our corporate partners.

What funding does F3 receive, and is this something that you are working towards in order to grow the services it can provide?

In short, I’ve bootstrapped it all personally.

F3 is supported by our corporate partners: Moelis, Perennial, CFA Society Sydney, Natixis, and others. I thank them wholeheartedly for their support.

F3 is run as a ‘profit for purpose’ business. 10% of net profits go back into university scholarships.

I have some fabulous plans for scaling the educating of school students. This is Phase 2 for F3.

Is there a team of volunteers behind the project that need a special mention?

There are a myriad of fabulous women and men in the industry (they know who they are and way too many to mention ;)) who support panel sessions at Universities and Schools; and always spread the word. A big ‘Cheers’ to the F3 support crew!

A special mention also goes to Ed Dockrill who is in the trenches with me, all with the goal to change the future of the industry for the better.

"F3 is run as a ‘profit for purpose’ business. 10% of net profits go back into university scholarships."

What has been the take up from those in the finance industry to use the F3 work experience program?

There’s lots of interest in becoming a Corporate Partner but to tell you the truth, there are way too many young women who are keen to have work experience in finance. The online platform can take the numbers as its truly scalable, we are keen to increase our industry support. If you’re keen to find and mentor female talent before they graduate, you can get in touch with me at camilla@fthree.com.au.

Can you remind us of the ways to get involved in the project?

I always ask people who are interested in supporting F3 for the following things: 

  1. Become a Corporate Partner.

  2. Ask your former school or university to hold an F3 panel to discuss finance as a career.

  3. Support F3 by sending us your story (approx. 200 words) - why you love finance and how did you become interested in it? We use it on social media to tell the stories of a fabulous, diverse set of role models.

  4. Support F3 by asking your business and clients about what they do to foster the next generation of female talent. Have they heard about F3?