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Women, work and wealth

 March 28, 2014

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We're all told we need good financial planning and diversified investment portfolios, but how comfortable are you when it comes to your own investing? And what about seeking advice? When it comes to discussing personal finances, it's a very difficult conversation according to a Wells Fargo & Co survey.

Do women actually prefer female advisers over male advisers? Are female advisers more focused on nurturing longer term trust and deeper relationships with their clients? Do women feel more comfortable confiding in other women who they believe will help them work towards known goals? And on the flip side, how do male advisers actually feel about talking to female clients?

So here's the rub. Personal finances are just that - "personal".

It's absolutely no surprise the world over that women prefer female doctors when it comes to "personal" issue. We try and buy our underwear and make-up from women. We seek and follow other women's advice on everything from holidays, cars, appliances, groceries - so when it comes to discussing, understanding and acting on personal finances it's no different. Women want women advisers they can trust. 

Sixty percent of women say they would rather work with women advisers. For women 65 and over, it’s an even higher 79%.

But according to the Financial Times, women still make up only 30 per cent of financial advisers, with even fewer making it to top management, but it seems that number will need to increase as the investor base evolves.

BNY Mellon company Pershing's research says the industry faces a personnel shortage of 240,000 over the next decade. Advisory firms that don't hire more female advisers will have a hard time remaining relevant. There’s a new generation of women coming through who simply won’t tolerate a lack of choice. Firms will quickly find that the lack of female advisers, and female clients, is not optional.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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