Firms look to double numbers of female planners

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Current female representation in Westpac Financial Planning and St George Financial Planning will increase from 26% to 45% over the next three years, as the firms hope to have 700 female planners by 2015.

To achieve this benchmark, they have revised and reviewed their employment offers to ensure they are attractive, rewarding and progressive for women interested in financial planning.

Currently, there are approximately 16,500 planners in the financial planning industry, with approximately 13,200 male and 3,300 women. Increases in longevity, higher female workforce participation and women wanting more control of their financial affairs will all put pressure on the limited number of financial advisers.

“By looking at our own work practices and listening to the changes women need to make the profession more attractive, we are making real change to the way we attract and retain women to the profession,” says Mark Spiers, general manager Advice, BT Financial Group.

“We know women make great financial planners and it’s time we made it easier for women to work in our growing industry.”

Career paths via different entry points into the profession have been established, recognising that 63% of existing advice-related roles such as paraplanning, call centre and banking staff are filled by women.

Structural changes have been made across both businesses to improve the flexibility of the employment offer and to increase the level of planner support. This includes the revision of planner scorecards to better reflect flexibility of work hours, as well as access to childcare and the opportunity to purchase additional leave to help manage school holidays.