Strategy

The Women’s Economy - Part Two: Growing Need For More Female Financial Advisors

Dr Lilli Friedland, President Executive Advisors, August 28, 2013

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The number of female financial advisors has decreased, yet women with wealth often look for female advisors, writes Dr Lilli Friedland of Executive Advisors in a guest feature for Family Wealth Report.

This is the second installment of a two-part feature by Dr Lilli Friedland, president at Executive Advisors, looking at the advent of the "women's economy" in wealth management. View the first part here.

Over the last few
years, gender has become increasingly important in the financial advising
world. The number of female financial advisors has decreased, yet women with
wealth often look for female advisors. And this new focus is now intertwined
with the advent of the “female economy.”

Affluent women use
advisors and are more loyal to them than their male counterparts. The greater
the woman’s wealth, the more she comes to depend on and trust the advisor.  As such, many of the world’s largest
and most reputable financial institutions are increasing their focus on the
needs of this changing client demographic.

Current status of female financial advisors

During the height of
the financial boom, many financial services firms accelerated their hiring of
young women. However, during the financial crisis, five times as many female
advisors as male advisors were laid off. Young female financial advisors were
most affected.  Currently, there
are 9.6 per cent more men working in finance than 10 years ago, but 2.6 per
cent fewer women.

The majority of women
in financial services do not earn as much nor progress as quickly in their
careers as their male counterparts. Catalyst conducted a study of graduates
from elite MBA programs around the world and found that women continue to lag
men at every career stage, beginning with their first professional position.

Additionally, biases
and misperceptions still exist towards women in finance, which reduce a woman’s
likelihood to receive a promotion. Most commonly, managers incorrectly believe
that it is harder for women than men to balance work and family
obligations. 

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