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DebKent's avatar
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5 months ago

Female Advisers only make up 23%

Female advisers make up 23% of the industry. I have been talking about about this for most of my career and during that time these numbers have not really changed. We know the advice profession is a great career path especially women, so why do we still see such low numbers?

When speaking to young women in the industry they tell me that they are often overlooked for promotion from administrative and technical roles. They see their male colleagues given opportunities to progress to adviser roles over them. They are often worried about the targets set in relation to client numbers and feel that they are viewed as not being able to fulfil the expectations of the role due to family commitments.

We need more advice practices recognising the young women in their businesses who would make great Advisers. They need to be encouraged to go down this pathway and given the confidence that they will do a great job. More female and male advisers need to make themselves available as mentors.

Encourage your staff to attend events like FAAA Inspire to network with successful women.  We also need to champion the Advice profession in universities to engage young women and men to see how great this career path can be.

These are just a couple of starting ideas, I would really like to see what you think so we as a collective we can solve this problem.


10 Replies

  • Thanks, Deb and yes financial planning is a terrific career for women in so many ways. Our practice is 80% female with all senior advisers/owners being female. I think you're right in that 'sales' targets could be a deterrent to becoming an adviser together with the assumption that experience in admin or client service roles doesn't count. If those things held true, I don't know what many of us would be doing now. Attending events such as the FAAA Congress provide invaluable opportunities for our teams to see and experience the profession more broadly. 

    • DebKent's avatar
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      Agree Anne-Graham most of us started in an Admin / Paraplanning role what are great skills to have as you tranistion through to an Adviser, its great that you have so many women in leadership roles in your business and these are the stories that other young women need to hear inspiring them on their career journey

  • Tamara-Morey's avatar
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    Thanks DebKent for raising such an important topic.  I agree that increased flexibility in advising roles will attract more women to the profession.  Our TNT team is 100% female at present and we have a very low rate of staff turnover.  This is largely due to our flexible, work-from-home offering and family first values.  Many in our team came from more traditional 9-5 advising roles which is not an easy fit for many women.  I think the rise of virtual client meetings is a step in the right direction, but there is still much more change needed.

  • Gtys's avatar
    Social Sightseer

    Whilst it is encouraging that younger females at university level are entering the industry in equal numbers to their male counterparts- I believe there is a real need for more mature-aged female ‘career changers’ to seriously consider joining the industry. 

  • DebKent hard to believe it's still just 23%, that has to change and hopefully with more like you and Anne-Graham highlighting the flexibility and fulfilment on offer, it will start to. Alisdair I'm curious about what you're seeing with the next generation coming through - are we starting to see a shift?

  • Alisdair's avatar
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    DebKent I agree this number has been consistent for so long however there are glimmers of hope and the Futurity Student Session at the FAAA Congress looked to have a good split of diversity amongst it. We are also seeing some great initiatives like the Stellar Network shining a light on it. 

    Interestingly enough at Strivers recent Brimstone Event we had a 40/60% mix of females to males and many positive observations on the diversity mix. Check it out

    So there are some great pockets and I believe that as a community bringing together all these elements in a united way continue the momentum resulting in a long-term positive impact on the diversity mix the profession. 

    • DebKent's avatar
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      Alisdair they are great numbers for your recent event, women's groups such as FAAA Inspire and Stella can play a great role in increasing women in Advice, we also need to get into Universities to ensure that the message of what Financial Advisers do gets out to students so they can see Advice as a Career Path

  • JennyB's avatar
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    It's interesting, I'm currently doing a research project on this topic and how we can improve the % of female financial advisers.  The percentages are roughly 22-25% of advisers are females in Aust, NZ, US and Canada, UK is 16%. It seems to me on the surface that women start in financial services as advisers, but our compliance regime makes it difficult for them to take breaks to have families and so when they come back, they go into admin, paraplanning, money coaching or something completely different.
    I agree Tamara-Morey that flexible working may make an impact in the future, but it will be slow unless we change some of what we do. 
    In my opinion there are not enough female adviser role models around for younger entrants which in itself becomes an issue.
    We need to work together as a profession if we are to make a change.