For our October issue, we took a special look at women and their place in the financial services industry. On the client side, women are frequently treated as a niche—a huge niche with ever-increasing wealth. On the professional side, there just aren’t that many women. Even the ones who do enter the financial services profession frequently leave and don’t come back.
As Neesha Hathi and Naureen Hassan of Schwab Advisor Services say in our cover story, that’s too bad, because the industry really could be good to women. Furthermore, not having women in the industry is a detriment to serving female clients.
Savita Iyer-Ahrestani looks at what advisors are doing wrong in their approach to serving women. Sure they can grow their business by increasing their focus on female clients, but not if they can’t get them in the door.
Finally, Marlene Satter takes a look at the numbers: Just how many female advisors are in the industry? How many financial executives are women? How much wealth do female investors really control and most importantly—what do those investors want from their advisors?
Over 50% of Americans are female—157 million people. Women are the key decision makers in 60% of client relationships, they’re the main source of income in 53% of households and they’re expected to hold two-thirds of wealth in America by 2030. The numbers should be compelling, but the financial industry frequently serves men first and women as an afterthought.
Neesha Hathi and Naureen Hassan speak with Managing Editor Danielle Andrus about what advisors can do to change that—and why they should.
Since word got out that women are the demographic du jour, financial advisory firms have been making a dedicated and concerted—aggressive, even—effort to cultivate a female clientele.
Savita Iyer-Ahrestani speaks with experts like Kathleen Kingsbury, founder of coaching firm KBK Wealth Connection and Eleanor Blayney, a financial planner and consumer advocate for the CFP Board to examine how advisors’ approach to serving women might by hurting them.
The future of the financial services industry, as it seeks to better itself in an ever-changing regulatory landscape, could hinge on a resource that is already present in its day-to-day operations but largely ignored. That resource is women, but their importance at lower levels in the industry is often taken for granted—and they’re usually squeezed out before they can rise much higher. That’s something that is suddenly getting a lot of attention and not a moment too soon.
Marlene Satter crunches the number to get an idea of just how much influence women have in the industry, both professionally and as clients.