CFP Board Appoints Panel to Boost Number of Female Advisors

Only about 23% of the 68,000 CFP professionals are women, a figure that hasn't budged in a decade, says CFP Board's Kistner

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards announced Wednesday that it has launched an initiative to boost the number of women advisors in the field, including CFPs, as the number of female CFPs hasn’t budged for a decade.

Nancy Kistner, chairwoman of the board of directors for the CFP Board, noted in a release announcing the initiative that as it stands now, only about 23% of the 68,000 CFP professionals are female. With fields like education, medicine and law, among others, seeing more gender parity, Kistner said in her remarks, “it is well past time that we welcome more women in financial services, particularly financial planning.”

CFP Board logoGrowing the ranks of female CFP professionals, she said, “not only makes good business sense, but it builds the heart and soul of this profession, which is all about helping Americans achieve financial security. When more women advisors are helping more women clients, they are also helping spouses, children, families and communities.”

Kistner, who is also managing director and wealth planning solutions market director at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, made the announcement during a keynote address at the Women Advisors Forum in New York.

To help inform the initiative, CFP Board has appointed a Women’s Initiative Advisory Panel made up of leading experts in the financial planning field, Kistner said. “The Advisory Panel will help to identify the challenges women face when becoming certified and beginning a career in financial planning, as well as recommend solutions to increase the ranks of female CFP professionals.”

Kistner, who will serve as chairwoman of the panel, in addition to leading the overall effort, said that the panel will meet twice this year, beginning with a spring meeting to closely examine why the ranks of women planners have stagnated.

Following this inaugural meeting, she said, CFP Board will draw upon the panel’s discussion to conduct in-depth quantitative and qualitative research. The panel will meet again in the fall to review the research findings and make recommendations, “resulting in the release of a report by CFP Board detailing research conclusions, as well as recommended solutions to increase the number of American women providing ethical and competent financial planning advice,” Kistner said.

Members of the panel include:

  • Alexa von Tobel, founder and president, LearnVest
  • Bob Glovsky, CFP, former chairman of the board of directors, CFP Board
  • Karen Schaeffer, CFP, Former chairwoman of the board of directors, CFP Board and former chairwoman, Financial Planning Standards Board
  • Kate Healy, managing director, TD Ameritrade Institutional
  • Mindy Diamond, president and CEO, Diamond Consultants
  • Mary Beth Franklin, journalist
  • Lazetta Braxton, CFP, founder, Financial Foundations
  • Kathleen McQuiggan, president, Catalina Leadership
  • Eleanor Blayney, CFP, consumer advocate, CFP Board

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