“Where are all the women?” you might ask and “Why are the vast majority of financial advisers still male in 2019?”
They are fair questions and unfortunately it isn’t something that has just been set up for Hollywood films or ad campaigns – it is often the reality.
A concerning amount of male bias exists in the financial industry and, as a result, women are deterred from entering the financial sector.
This just isn’t good enough. Women should not have to be “thick-skinned” or “tough” to thrive in the financial sector any more than men – they should just be good at their job.
And while there may still be a few lingering concerns about obtaining top jobs and fighting the proverbial “glass ceiling”, there are some companies that recognise that talent and hard work are more important to their business than sticking to the tired models of male bias.
Some women may feel cautious about joining the financial sector due to previous stereotypes and clichés.
However, these are fast dissipating and there are many women who have long, successful careers.
That’s something I’ve found particularly true since joining Equity Release Supermarket (ERS) two years ago.
Recruit on advice quality
The company has 46 advisers based across the country and believes in recruiting on the quality of advice and team fit, rather than whether they are male or female.
As a result, it has seen an upward trend with more females entering the industry and everybody is encouraged to succeed, irrespective of gender.
I feel empowered working here as it’s given me more confidence than I’ve ever had before.
The approach to work-life balance is in sharp contrast with the rigid working conditions I’ve faced in previous roles and has helped with my personal and financial demands of having an energetic four-year-old.
It can sometimes be tricky when you have a young family but the flexibility I have has helped me to succeed.
Working 9-5 is very structured so I think more women should be attracted to this industry because of the benefits it offers to family life.
Women should drive change
It was this opportunity to work with customers and transform lives that first attracted me to the financial industry after returning to the UK following several years living in France.
I really enjoy seeing the clients and helping them through the process. It is wonderful to know that I have made a difference to someone’s life.
It’s also been encouraging to see more women joining these ranks and it’s something I hope will continue. I would tell women looking to break into the financial industry to just go for it.
There have been many changes to the culture of financial services over the past few years and there is no doubt that women should form part of this ongoing change and help drive the industry forward.