Males predominate in the financial industry; in 2020, women made up only 23% of all CFPs (Certified Financial Planners).
Financial institutions are assessing how to serve women best as their wealth increases—according to Boston Consulting Group, women control around 32% of the world’s wealth. For many, this entails intensifying efforts to promote and hire women.
Women are more likely to inherit a significant portion of the $70 trillion that is anticipated to be passed down in the Great Wealth Transfer by 2045 because they are educated, have greater earning potential, are interested in investing, and in many cases, are ready to do so.
Financial experts suggested that in order to serve these women effectively, the sector must make two important moves to expand representation, alter the “old boys” attitude, and provide women the chance to develop in their jobs.
- Transform the financial services sector’s culture.
Several financial companies have reacted more quickly to the growing desire for greater diversity in the financial planning industry, turning inward and establishing mentorship programs, hiring at business schools, and making public commitments to elevate more women to the top.
One of those businesses is Advisor Group, which has made a “Parity Promise” to conduct interviews with at least one competent female applicant for each open position. The Women Forward initiative at Advisor Group, according to Kristen Kimmell, executive vice president of business development, aims to encourage and advance women in the profession through events, networking opportunities, webinars, a podcast, and a mentorship program.
Kimmell stated that “we need to concentrate on where the industry is truly headed.”
Women in the financial services profession have reported that it can be challenging to network, form partnerships, and advance up the corporate ladder. They claimed that this frequently causes turnover.
Sandra Cho, the president and CEO of Pointwealth Capital Management, told Insider that “people frequently perceived me as someone’s assistant.” I wasn’t the right fit.
Financial planner Nicole Wirick, who established Prosperity Wealth Strategies in Michigan, told Insider that rather than abandoning the field, she decided to take on the challenge of changing the culture by acquiring new skills and organizing more inclusive events.
In outings or activities she wasn’t interested in or didn’t feel comfortable participating in, such as fishing trips and golf outings, Wirick claimed she discovered how financial planners were closing deals and building relationships.
In order to remedy this, Wirick picked up a golf club and planned a clinic to instruct other working women on the rules and protocol of the sport.
It wasn’t her intention to improve her golf game, she said. It was a means of elevating women, getting them a seat at the table, and getting them involved and active.
- Provide women and CFPs of color the chance to be mentored
Although changing the mindset is a positive step, it does not address the racial and gender imbalances in the financial planning sector.
According to the CFP Board, even if the proportion of Black financial planners increased by more than 10% in 2021, they still represent fewer than 2% of all professionals in the industry.
Some businesses are attempting to create mentorship programs and opportunities to network and develop contacts in order to address these disparities because it can be challenging to identify female role models in positions of authority.
When you witness someone climbing a mountain the same way you did or have someone else assist them, there is something to be said, according to Cho. “You also want to do it.”
Coldstream Financial Management’s chief wealth strategist, Anne Marie Stonich, told Insider that the program’s Women and Wealth initiative emphasizes networking and mentorship. She claimed that the company has gatherings to promote connections and bring new thoughts and viewpoints on how to handle professional advancement in the industry to the fore.
Financial companies are becoming more adept at establishing career paths for women, according to Kate Healy, managing director of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, who spoke with Insider.
Healy emphasized the need of profession awareness. Women need to understand that this career is about helping people; it’s about connections; it’s about flexibility; and it may be a means to provide for your family financially.
She remarked, “Our sector needs to understand women and attract more women into it.