The numbers are changing slowly, but more women finally are being drawn to the financial advice field, partially through outreach programs by financial firms, according to Megan Slatter, a wealth advisor at Crewe Advisors who specializes in helping women join the field and in aiding female clients.

More women are needed in the industry because many wives, mothers and single women prefer working with a woman advisor, Slatter said in an interview. Crewe Advisors is an RIA with offices in Salt Lake City and Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Women frequently are better at finding the human connection” that makes financial advice personal, which, in turn, makes prospects want to be clients, and makes clients want to stay with a firm, she said.

“In many ways we see the entire process of financial planning differently than men,” Slatter said, “and finally more women are being drawn to the profession to exploit that difference. I have experienced firsthand what it is like to be a women in a male dominated field.” She said her experienced are what make her want to help other women enter the financial advice field.

Slatter said she has seen change in the 10 years that she has been in the field.

The number of female certified financial planners (CFPs) has grown by 13.9% over the last three years. That percentage outpaced the 11.5% increase in financial advisors over the same period, and the 10.7% growth in the number of male advisors. Almost 2,900 women became CFP professionals in those three years, the CFP Board said.

Crewe Advisors has an internship program designed to draw young people, and particularly young females, into financial planning. The firm now has eight advisors, including two women. Of the firm's nine partners. two are women. Slatter added that she is working toward partner status.

Other industry-wide programs such as Rock the Street - Wall Street have been created to specifically target young women. The not-for-profit organization offers girls programs in financial and investment mathematics in more than 25 cities. Slatter volunteers with the organization. Since its creation in 2012, 6,000 girls graduated from the year-long program.

It will take time for the efforts that are being made by Slatter and firms like Crewe Advisors to be reflected in numbers, she said, but more young women are now seeing the financial advice industry as a potential career.

As more women enter the field, she said, they will be able to help female clients overcome the myths that still plague women, such as the false belief that women cannot handle investing.

“Women investors are often more risk averse and they face challenges for investing and handling their own finances,” Slatter said. “There is a social and cultural bias that is working against them that women advisors can help them overcome.”

Female clients sometimes need help focusing on their goals, she added. “Communication is the key to helping women clients plan for their futures,” she said.

Advisors also need to bring the next generation of clients into the planning process early, Slatter noted.