“Where are all the woman CFPs going?” asked an audience member at the 2017 Invest In Women conference on Wednesday.
Speaking at “Does Your Firm Need a Women’s Initative,” a panel discussion on a wide range of gender-oriented topics, Michelle Lynch, vice president and director of the Raymond James Network for Women Advisors, pointed out that the demographics of college CFP programs has been evenly split 50-50 between men and women for many years, yet the proportion of women advisors in the industry still frustratingly hovers near 20 percent.
“If 50 percent of the graduating advisors are women, why aren’t we seeing an increase in women becoming financial advisors?” Lynch asked. “Part of the reason is that they were being trained as advisors from a very technical, ‘male’ perspective.”
As part of an effort to turn the tide, Lynch explained that Raymond James is working with college CFP programs to blend in more of the emotional and behavioral aspects of financial planning into their curriculum, but the low levels of women in the industry remains a sticking point.
Until recently, part of the industry’s gender problem has stemmed from a lack of networking and educational opportunities for women, said Lorraine Salvo, managing director at Massey Quick Wealth Management, and that extends to difficulty creating client outreach that appeals to women.
“Women tend to enjoy learning with other women and from other women,” said Salvo.