Discussion around the gender imbalance in financial services is a mainstay on the agenda. However, with a growing number of women in the space, many believe the industry should be doing more to attract female advisers. On this week's Wealth Professional TV we speak to Deborah Kent of Integra Financial Services who believes that the benefits for women looking to get into financial services are many.
Video transcript below:
Anna Temple, Wealth Professional Online
Anna Temple: Discussion around the gender imbalance in financial services is a mainstay in the agenda. However, with a growing number of women in the space many believe the industry should be doing more to attract female advisors. Deborah Kent of Integra believes that the benefits for women looking to get into financial services are many.
Deborah Kent, Integra Financial Services
Deborah Kent: Financial planning is a great career path for women. It’s, you know once you get into it, if you particularly enjoy dealing with people, it’s a career that can be very very rewarding. It’s lovely to help people and get them on their pathway to financial goals. It’s getting to know them, it’s also having, being part of a really vibrant and great industry. I mean financial services is great, I mean I love financial planning, I love being an advisor and I certainly enjoy running my own business.
Anna Temple: Kent feels that acknowledging women’s unique skill set is the best way to attract them into the industry.
Deborah Kent: I think we need to continually promote the reason why women make good advisors and they do, because they have a lot of soft skills that sometimes don’t come easy to males and there is obviously a lot more women who are seeking financial advice and that is because we are seeing a lot more women out there who are single, women who are going through divorces, we see a lot more divorces and they tend to want to speak to a woman. So we need to continually get that message out there, especially in the bigger licensees that they need to have that gender balance and put programs in place to attract women.
Anna Temple: Kent says the industry needs to create specifically tailored support networks for women in considering this career path, something the AFA is looking to change with the launch of their ‘Inspire’ initiative later this month.
Deborah Kent: There hasn’t really been anything that really captures, like what is it that women want to learn, how do they want to learn, what tools and what skills do they need to actually get themselves further up the line in whatever line of work they are, whether that be supporting staff or whether that be in a [power] planner role or whether that’s pushing through that barrier to say, can I actually be an advisor. We are about to launch ‘Inspire’, which is a great initiative from the AFA, which is going to give them a lot of tools, tools such as mentoring, coaching, networking with women who are successful, which can be actually difficult because we do pick out these women in the industry and say, “hey they are great, look what they have done”. Sometimes they are not accessible, you can’t get to them. So we want to make those women accessible and we want to give a lot of other skills to women such as public speaking, communication, all those things that they need to really hone their skills to be the best that they can.
Anna Temple: This is Anna Temple reporting for Wealth Professional Online.