In 2018, women made up just 17% of the over 300,000 financial advisors in the United States. Despite the fact that demand for female financial advisors is growing, women just aren’t joining the industry at a matching pace. Why?
That’s a great question – one to which there are many answers. One thing is for certain, though: Women are a valuable part of our industry, and making financial services more welcoming and inviting for female financial advisors can only make us stronger.
Why Women Don’t Join Financial Services
There are many obstacles facing women who want to work with money. Before they even enter the workforce, women have to contend with numerous barriers to entry, like applicant discrimination and a lack of representation.
Once they join the workforce, it can be difficult for a woman to gain the credibility she needs to get a footing, especially if she is making a mid-career transition from a different field.
On top of all that, there are the challenges women face in every industry: pressure to focus on family, lack of support for things like maternity leave, and the gender wage gap.
How to Help Women in the Industry
Some of these issues will take a very long time to resolve entirely, but there are small steps that we can take today that will make an immediate difference.
1. Stand up for women.
This is, in some ways, the most important thing we can do to help women advance in the financial space. When you witness or hear about instances of discrimination, either firsthand or from someone else, say something. Don’t let colleagues get away with sexist jokes or behavior. Support your female colleagues when they report instances of discrimination, and believe them when they share their experiences with you.
2. Advocate for women.
This is especially important for people who manage women. Being an advocate means making sure people are being treated not only fairly, but equally (and no, they aren’t the same thing). This means paying them fairly and supporting them in their attempts to learn and grow.
3. Elevate women in the industry.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is stand aside and let others share their voices and experiences. When a woman is working to share her story or ideas, look or ask for ways to amplify her voice. By giving her a platform, she can reach more people, which boosts visibility and representation within the industry as a whole.
Why Inclusivity Matters
We’ve spoken before on the importance of accessibility in the industry, and similar principles apply here. When we make our industry more inclusive, we are able to better serve a more diverse client base. That means a more secure financial future for everyone.
Studies have shown that increased diversity and inclusivity are good for business. When you bring people from more varied backgrounds to the table, they also bring new perspectives that you may not have considered before. This is important for meeting the needs of a diverse client base. By showing that you care about amplifying and advocating for people who have historically been underserved, you automatically set yourself apart from the norm.
How Impact Helps Female Financial Advisors
We want to do more than just pay lip service. We are committed to helping more advisors succeed and grow their practices, no matter who they are, so we can help more Americans retire happily. In May 2020, we’re holding our first-ever women’s event: LIFT. This event is designed to share the stories of some of our most successful female advisors and help women up-and-coming in the financial space achieve their goals. Led by Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and Kelly Decker, an executive communications coach, we’ll be giving attendees everything they need to reshape the industry – for good.
To learn more about LIFT and how your practice can attend, contact us today.1099494-0221