CIBC donation goes towards Integrated Case Exercise week and women in finance

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Photo by Jackie Vang

CIBC recently announced that they are committing to donating $200,000 to the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics over a four-year period to enhance the business school and help create scholarships for women in finance.

The funding is split up into multiple different sectors of the school, with $25,000 a year being donated to the Integrated Case Exercise (ICE) week that happens once in the winter semester and once in the spring semester.

“$100,000 goes to the ICE competition and the operating of that program, starting with the one that is happening currently at the school. The other $100,000 goes towards scholarships — that will be five $5,000 scholarships per year,” said Sandra Palmaro, interim vice president of advancement and external relations at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Third-year business students compete in the ICE week competition, that presents students with a problem from a real-world business as they attempt to solve the case with what they have learned in areas of business such as marketing, finance and accounting.

“When students look back on their time at Laurier, one of the highlights we often hear alumni talk about is the ICE competition in terms of how exciting it was and great it was in terms of them helping determine what their future interests would be with hands on experience as part of a team,” Palmaro said. 

“The way that we work with our donors and our corporate partners as well as working internally with faculty to identify the areas where donors can make the greatest impact and really enhance the student experience are the opportunities that donors are interested in.”

“Being able to see what the future world might look like once they’re out there gives people a great sense of the real-world environment and the competition itself helps make students real world ready.”

The scholarships are being geared towards women in the finance field, as CIBC has made it a mission in their company to ensure there is equality in all aspects of business — and find women are underrepresented in finance.

“We have a lot of alumni who run financial services companies and one of the issues raised is that they need to develop more diversity in their hiring, they found there just weren’t enough women taking degrees in finance,” said Micheál J. Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics.

“When we looked across the school, that’s probably the one area where women are not as represented. There’s a huge interest in bringing women into finance positions and that’s a main reason CIBC was interested in providing scholarships.” 

This funding comes a few months after RBC had already donated $450,000 to the Lazaridis School for multiple projects, including the RBC Venture Launch programs, which provides funding to allow student entrepreneurs to work on their business instead of taking a co-op term.

“The way that we work with our donors and our corporate partners as well as working internally with faculty to identify the areas where donors can make the greatest impact and really enhance the student experience are the opportunities that donors are interested in,” Palmaro said.

“Obviously, those are the opportunities that are going to have the biggest impact for students, which is what everyone at the university wants to achieve, so I think we’ve got some really great examples where it’s a demonstration of the university and these donors working together for the interests of students.” 

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