By Susan Brandeis
Did you know women make up only 23 percent of the financial planning profession? It is no secret women are the minority within the financial services industry. That is about to change.
As a woman, when I was growing up I always looked up to my mom. As long as I can remember my mom would always be wearing the most fashionable suits. My mom worked at one of the top CPA firms in the nation.
During that time, it was uncommon for a woman to be a partner at a CPA firm, but not for my mom. At five years old, I did not know what I would be doing but I knew I was going to be a successful businesswoman.
During my freshman year of college I was wide-eyed, I took all the lower division business classes, accounting, finance, management, and marketing. Through those courses, I discovered my two passions are numbers and people. I found Financial Service to be the perfect major for my passions.
Now in my upper division finance classes, I remember looking around the room and thinking, wow, I am one of only a handful of women in this class. At that moment I said to myself I better get used to this.
Over the course of my career, I have had many opportunities to work and be mentored by amazing women. However, no matter where I worked, what financial planning conferences or networking event I attended, it was clear women are the minority.
Being a 23-year-old woman who was right out of college, working for firms where most of my co-workers were men, there were many times I thought I didn’t fit in. My passion for what this industry provides to our clients, their family and their life kept me in this industry.
To this day, I am still shocked there aren’t more women advisors, women are perfect for this industry. As a financial advisor you are both advising the technical aspect of a clients financial plan (from cash flow, taxes, investments, insurance, estate planning, etc) but you are also connecting with your clients on a personal level and really getting an understanding of what they care about and what their hard work and money is for.
Thankfully over the past several years, women in the industry have taken it upon themselves to create networks focused on connecting, empowering, and increasing the number of women in financial services.
CFP Board – Women’s Initiative (WIN)
Works to address the challenge of the under-representation of women in the financial planner workforce. Through research-based initiatives, we’re helping to ensure a more diverse pipeline of talent by encouraging women to join the profession.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Women Initiative
Strives to attract, support, educate, and develop women as leaders within the financial advisory profession and to raise awareness of the need for more female advisors. We work toward this mission by building a community of women advisors, providing programs at NAPFA events, attracting media attention through articles in financial publications, and providing networking, advocacy, and mentorship opportunities to women.
Financial Planning Association
Local chapters have women focused groups, women gathering monthly or quarterly to hear guest speakers, share ideas, bond, unwind and learn the latest tools and techniques of our trade. We believe you should lift as you climb. Members are encouraged to share stories and encourage others.
Invest in Women Conference – Financial Advisor Magazine
A 360- Degree Approach for Women in Wealth Management. Visit here to learn more.
Susan Brandeis, CFP ® is Chief Financial Planning Officer at Pure Financial Advisors, a fee-only RIA, in San Diego. Susan graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Services. Susan serves as the President of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) NexGen of San Diego and as the Organization Director on the FPA NexGen National Executive Committee. Susan is passionate about ensuring the next generation of financial planners have the resources they need to excel in this career and continue to develop their skills.
FPA NexGen, a community of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), aims to provide support and collaboration for those professionals new to the financial planning profession. With more than 2,500 like-minded young professionals, members of FPA NexGen are ready to share their experiences and further the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about our engaged community and join the conversation on Twitter.
Here are past NexGen columns: