We know the world is evolving rapidly, but in some areas, evidence of that evolution is harder to come by. While women compose nearly 50 percent of financial services employees, they represent a mere 15 percent of industry executives. If our true goal is to help families prosper, that has to change.
Having a diverse range of opinions and perspectives is key to building a full picture when it comes to family wealth. That means we must broaden the conversations to include female family members and advisors alike.
It certainly hasn’t been easy for women to break into the typical “boys’ club” of the wealth management industry.
In the past, it was common for women to be disengaged when it came to the ins and outs of their financial options. Financial planning was mostly the domain of husbands and male advisors.
Today, society has shifted, and more women are creating and taking responsibility for their overall wealth. Now, we must participate in our own financial future. Like many women, I believe we must take on the responsibility of educating ourselves. We cannot depend entirely on our spouses to teach us what we need to know.
We have so many resources today that were not available to previous generations, such as the internet, financial seminars, and female wealth advisors like me and the women on the team. We must utilize these resources to maximize our understanding so we can better manage our wealth with our partners and on our own
Company boards, executive leadership, and the financial industry have historically been male-dominated. As society evolves, we have found that a more balanced vision will result in a higher level of success.
Why is the female perspective critical to achieving balance? As a male who has experienced the traditional, male-dominated environment as well as the benefits of a balanced firm, I can attest to the benefits of having the female perspective. The reality is women and men think differently. When working with clients, women often focus on the big picture and the whole family’s end goal instead of just the numbers. They also bring this holistic approach when managing a team or building a company, crucial for success.
Challenging the norm and accepting a new perspective is healthy and fosters growth. Teams with a balanced work environment benefit from more robust planning, communication, and transparency which yields greater success for everyone.
Advising is about helping families overcome some of the toughest obstacles in life, celebrate their most meaningful milestones, and provide for their loved ones while they’re living and after they are gone. It’s about giving people helpful tools that they can use to make the best possible decisions, regardless of what comes their way.
We believe that if more women understood the true goal of the job—or what it could be—they would consider this path, and the industry would begin to benefit from some of the diversity it so desperately needs.