Women now are more visible, engaged and productive in the financial services industry than ever before, but a recent study by Edward Jones found that women in the field still feel like they’re being held back because of their gender.

In a survey at its recent Women’s Conference, Edward Jones found that while 85 percent of the advisors agreed that strides have been made to advance women in their careers, 77 percent also agreed that barriers to career advancement still exist for women in the field.

The St. Louis-based broker-dealer acknowledged that it still had work of its own to do towards gender parity — fewer than one-in-five of its advisors are women — but it still has a larger proportion of women than the industry in general, 19 percent versus 14 percent.

If the financial service industry wants women to succeed, confidence is key, according to the survey’s respondents — 80 percent of them said that confidence was the biggest factor impacting leadership and success in their careers.

When Edward Jones focused on women who declined an opportunity for career advancement due to lack of confidence, 44 percent said it ended up taking longer for them to get promoted than they had thought.

Respondents also cited mentorship, 25 percent, hard work/accomplishment, 15 percent, a professional network, 9 percent, and having an advanced degree, 1 percent, as helping them succeed. Older respondents were more likely to cite confidence as the most important tool for career advancement, while younger respondents were more likely to choose mentorship or sponsorship.

For the study, Edward Jones surveyed 100 of its female financial advisors at its conference, which took place Feb. 17 through Feb. 19.