Advisor Group says it will speak with “at least one qualified woman candidate” when filling slots for vice presidents and other top executives.
The group — which includes 5,000 independent advisors affiliated with FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services — adopted this policy as part of its the move to sign the Corporate ParityPledge, a program sponsored by Parity.org that aims to improve gender equality at the highest levels of business.
(Related: How Big Advisory Firms Are Adding More Women)
“Advisor Group is proud to count seven women among its leadership team of 16 executives [or 43%], and also supports hundreds of successful female advisors nationwide,” said President and CEO Jamie Price.
“We appreciate the diverse and valuable perspectives these female professionals bring and, in signing the ParityPledge, solidify our commitment to advancing their inclusion and advancement in the workplace. Advisor Group stands firmly in its employees’ and its advisors’ corners.”
Other recent measures taken by Advisor Group include its Women Forward initiative that seeks to bring in more female advisors via mentorship and other activities, its yearly women’s conference W Forum and its partnership with the networking group W Source.
According to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, about 19% of all advisors are women. Cerulli Associates sets the number of female advisors at 16%, or about 50,000 of the roughly 300,000 advisors nationwide. On a positive note, 24% of new advisors are women.
“Parity.org was founded to correct the stark reality of gender imbalance at the very top of companies today,” said Parity.org CEO Cathrin Stickney, in a statement. “While women represent 51% of the population, barely 20% of S&P 500 corporate executive teams and boards are represented by women.”
“We are thankful for organizations like Advisor Group that are willing to become a role model for change,” she added. “We believe their public commitment and example will help us realize exponential progress toward reaching parity at the top.”
Advisor Group, which works with about $190 billion in client assets, is owned by Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. Price joined the firm as its CEO in late 2016 after Erica McGinnis departed year during the firm’s transition from being part of publicly traded AIG to private ownership.