The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards ended the year with more women and people of color holding their CFP marks for the first time, according to a release by the board.

At year-end, CFP Board reported 86,378 CFP professionals, up 3.9 percent to more than 3,000 above 2018. Preliminary counts show a 12% growth in black and Latino CFP professionals to total 3,259. The number of female CFP professionals jumped 4% to 20,010, breaking the 20,000 mark for the first time.

The release noted that the growth in CFP professionals can be attributed in part to the focus by CFP Board to encourage and support firms that are moving toward more holistic advice models which require advisors hold the CFP mark, which is recognized as the standard for financial planning.

Kevin Keller, the board’s chief executive officer, said that the board’s focused effort to improve diversity in the profession is having an impact.

“The effort is reflected in the expanding profile of CFP certificants,” he said, adding that he is confident the momentum will continue in 2020.