We are now beginning to see incremental shifts toward more inclusion in the industry, but there is still a way to go until women are on even ground with their male counterparts, according to Blacktower Financial Management’s Christina Brady and Manuela Robinson.
Traditionally, men have been the main breadwinners, in charge of all financial decisions while women took care of the house and family.
But they are no longer the sole financial decisionmakers of the family unit.
Something different to offer
With more women choosing to develop a career alongside raising children, over 50% are responsible for controlling the household investments and savings plans.
Additionally, research indicates that women, on average, tend to show more emotional perception and empathetic traits than men.
These are skillsets that need to be harnessed by financial services companies to meet the greater female demand for wealth planning.
Value emotional skills
It is vital for financial planning companies to acknowledge that female advisers bring a different approach to their male peers, and these differences should be championed instead of shied away from.
When it comes to handling financial affairs, the adviser needs to become acquainted with the client’s fiscal goals, aspirations and inheritance plans.
Here is where both men and women need to be emotionally astute.
The ceaseless rhetoric to clients in our industry is ‘diversify, diversify, diversify’ and action needs to be taken to ensure that this mantra also applies to gender roles within financial services.
It is not negotiable that there needs to be greater consideration and opportunity for women to climb the professional ladder to senior levels of management, based on meritocracy, celebrated success and experience, as opposed to a box-ticking exercise to satisfy a HR quota.
Not only this, but it is also imperative for financial planning firms to implement robust mentorship programmes for younger women starting out in the business, breaking the culture that only a man can make it all the way to the board room.
The more women we start to see in senior roles, the better an example of ambition and drive is set for young women starting out in the field.
Put simply, women need to support women.
Share knowledge, share experiences and share insights, for it is this foundation that yields the most success, the best reputations and the highest levels of integrity.
Working in financial services can present endless opportunity for those who cultivate positive, enduring relationships, always keep learning and put their clients at the heart of every effort.
This article was written for International Adviser by Christina Brady, associate director, and Manuela Robinson, joint country manager at Blacktower Financial Management.