Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director, CFP Board Center for Financial Planning.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards said Monday that the number of CFPs has reached 80,000, with a record 1,250 women certified in 2017. The number of female CFPs now stands at 18,758.

In 2017, 4,370 individuals were newly certified as CFPs, and nearly 29% of them are women. According to Cerulli, 28% of rookie advisors and 16% of advisors overall are women.

“CFP certification has become the must-have designation for those providing financial advice,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board CEO, in a Monday statement. “We look forward to 2018 as we build on our success and see more professionals become certified and more Americans using CFP professionals for their financial planning needs.”

The CFP Board noted that while the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s designation database has 180 listings, CFP certification is one of only six financial designations “accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, [and] also provides important consumer protections through CFP Board’s disciplinary process.”

Individuals found to have violated CFP Board’s standards can have their certification suspended or revoked, which is made public, CFP Board said.

The “record number” of female CFP professionals can also be attributed to the programs delivered by CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning, the Board said.

In January 2016, the Board named its managing director for public policy and communications, Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, as executive director of the Center, which was set up to facilitate the future of the profession and to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

With programs like “I Am a CFP®Pro,” a job re-entry initiative, its Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council and other efforts, the Center helps create opportunities for women and people of color to learn about financial planning as a career and, specifically, how to earn the CFP certification, the Board said.

“We know that more can be done to encourage young people, women and people of color to join this great profession,” Keller said. “The Center for Financial Planning is helping to plant the seeds for a growing and thriving profession that serves the public.”

— Check out Female Firm Owners More Likely Than Men to Be Financial Planners on ThinkAdvisor.