Wanted: Women advisors
The financial services industry wants more women to join its ranks.
Many companies in the financial services industry are rethinking their approach to women advisors (and investors). This is because a trend is emerging: a growing number of women—both in Canada and around the world—are making financial decisions for themselves and their households.
It’s estimated that women control approximately one-third of all financial assets in North America. This number is poised to grow at an annualized rate of 7%, according to The Boston Consulting Group. As a result, a growing number of advisors are working with women as clients – a trend that will continue.
Arguably, women need financial advice as much, if not more than, their male counterparts. Women earn less but live longer. Women are also more likely than men to take time out of the workforce to care for young children and aging parents.
Despite this need, many women are unable to find a financial advisor they can connect with. In fact, when their husbands pass away, a significant majority will change advisors within the year.
Breadwinners and decision makers
A significant and growing number of women today are either the primary decision maker in their households, or they share that decision-making responsibility with their spouse or partner. More women are working full-time, and that number continues to rise. Despite the fact that women still earn less than men, their participation in the workforce has in turn led to an increase in the number of women who are working as their family’s primary breadwinner.
The persistence of divorce and reality of widowhood for many Canadians also means that most women will be solely responsible for their own finances at some point in time. According to recent census information from Statistics Canada, there are nearly two women for every man aged 85 and older – which is telling of the life expectancy difference between men and women today.
Family finances are growing increasingly complex in light of the fact that financial clients are aging as well. As a result, they’re likely to have needs and family dynamics that can only be properly determined by a relationship-focused advisor who is willing to work hard at figuring them out.
A natural fit
While this role is one that either a female or male advisor can play, the reality is that there is a lack of women in the financial industry today. Women remain in the minority in the financial services industry in Canada, and the proportion of female advisors remains low.
Many women are well-suited to the role of financial advisor. Moreover, female clients may be more comfortable and prefer working with a woman advisor. From an organizational perspective, research has also shown that gender diversity is a benefit to organizations that embrace it. As such, the industry needs women in greater numbers to meet clients’ needs. Fortunately, companies are beginning to recognize this and hiring and customizing their approaches accordingly.
Take the next step
If you’re ready to take the first step towards a career as an advisor, consider signing up for our Canadian Investment Funds Course or the Life License Qualification Program. Already qualified? Take some time to review our job board.