While American women have achieved high levels of wealth in recent years, unless the financial planning industry changes, most of their assets will probably be advised by men.

According to a 2017 report from the BMO Wealth Institute, women in the U.S. now control $14 trillion in assets, more than half of the total personal wealth in the country—yet just 31.6% of the country’s personal financial advisors are women, according to 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. Last year, the CFP Board pegged the proportion of women CFP professionals as stalled at just 23%. Other studies have suggested that the proportion of women in executive and board positions at major financial firms is even lower.

The relatively low levels of representation in the industry mean that young women interested in becoming financial planners may struggle to find mentors to help them develop their careers and supporters to recognize their achievements. It may also mean that women experience difficulty having their voices heard in the boardroom and in salary negotiations.

Women are more likely to become financial planners than men—according to 2017 research from Aite Group, 31% of the women in the financial services industry become planners, while only 21% of men become planners.

Among clients, women are more involved in financial decisions than ever. According to a recent Ameriprise study, 96% of women either share in financial decisions or are primary decision-makers themselves.

Women might be better suited than men not just for financial planning, but for financial leadership in general: Financial decisions normally include an emotional component that women advisors tend to address with empathy and directness. Behavioral studies often suggest that women are better at reading social cues and pay more attention to the pace and tone of their client’s speech. Some women are more comfortable with sharing their financial concerns with a female financial planner.

When Financial Advisor asked a diverse cross section of women in the financial industry what could be done to increase the percentage of women in financial planning roles, answers touched on cultural, social, financial and educational issues. While advocacy and mentoring programs like the CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) have helped women better represent themselves and find trusted counselors, many women feel that firms fall short in providing the benefits and flexibility they desire.

What follows are the answers to the question: What are three things that need to happen for the number of women advisors to increase?


First « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 » Next