“Gender diversity in any profession is going to be a good thing,” Chen says. “Women are more focused on relationships and when you bring that to wealth management, the conversation is different.

“As financial planners, we are successful when we make a difference and I feel the Women’s Initiative is already doing that. The more inclusive we can be as a profession, the more lives we can impact.”

Cynthia Branca, a CFP with Cetera Financial Network in Florham Park, N.J., and a mentor, says she got involved with the program “because I am living proof that a woman can do this. I was in publishing, but I wanted a better work-life balance and I wanted to do something meaningful.”

She made the mid-career switch to financial planning and now wants to help support other women to become CFPs.

“There is a lot of misconception about the profession. Women think it is highly quantitative, but it is really relationship based,” she explains. “The industry is changing, but it is still a nontraditional career path for women, so it is going to be a little bit harder for a woman to get where she wants to be.”

CFP professionals who would like to serve as mentors and those seeking a mentor to pursue a career in financial planning and a CFP designation can find more details at CFP.net/WINmentor.



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