The Advisor Group of independent broker-dealers says it is working with The W Source networking organization to support the success of its female advisors.

“Providing actionable solutions that can have an immediate and significant impact on the growth and success of our female advisors is a key commitment for us. Our Women Forward program’s focus on education and mentorship is a great example of that,” said Advisor Group Executive Chairman Valerie Brown, in a statement.

Advisor Group includes 5,000-plus advisors affiliated with FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services. It is hosting its 12th annual W Forum conference for female advisors this week in New Orleans.

“When we learned about The W Source, we knew it was a perfect complement to our existing programs,” Brown explained. “By providing playbooks, coaching support and more, the W Source is a unique program designed to make it easy for women advisors to establish their own local professional networking groups.”

Cerulli Associates sets the share of female advisors at 16%, or about 50,000 of the roughly 300,000 advisors nationwide, but women account for 28% of rookie advisors. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association says about 19% of all advisors are women.

The number of female Certified Financial Planners now stands at 18,758. A record 1,250 women were certified in 2017, representing close to 29% of all newly certified individuals. 

Launched in September 2017, The W Source aims to help female professionals set up networking groups of 20-25 individuals in their local markets. It offers them marketing support, sales coaches and other resources.

The organization has 12 operating chapters and aims to expand into 150 markets nationwide by year-end with marketing and advertising support from Advisor Group, which says that about 16% of its advisors are women.

“It is such a rewarding experience to work alongside so many empowering women and men, including the leadership team at Advisor Group, who are committed, engaged, and eager to help grow female-centric businesses,” said Hannah Buschbom, co-founder of The W Source, in a statement.