Businesswoman in a hallway

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ Re-Entry Initiative, intended to allow women to re-enter the workforce as financial planners and to boost the number of female CFPs, is showing signs of success.

Launched in the spring of 2017, the Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative (FPRI) was spawned by the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and is conducted in partnership with the career re-entry consultant iRelaunch.

The FPRI supports financial services firms in establishing re-entry programs for experienced professionals seeking to return to the workforce in financial planning positions, explains the just-released white paper Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative: Career Path for Professional Women in Financial Planning.

These professionals are mostly women who have taken a career break, generally to raise their families.

“The FPRI is modeled after programs that have proven successful in attracting more experienced, educated and qualified talent to address today’s hiring demands for firms in other areas of financial services, as well as in the engineering and technology sectors,” explained Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning.

“The early conclusion is that re-entry internships can be an effective way of transitioning mid- to senior-career, mostly female professionals, back into the workforce in the financial planning profession after a multi-year career break,” according to the white paper.

The initial pilot involved five firms: Edelman Financial Engines and United Capital, sponsored by TD Ameritrade Institutional; Luma Wealth and Yeske Buie, sponsored by Schwab Advisor Services through the Schwab Foundation; and Fidelity Investments.

Pilot firms established paid return-to-work internships through FPRI that provided a pathway to employment for participating professionals.

To date, a total of 11 internships have concluded, with 10 interns converted to full-time positions, the paper states.

“Based upon our initial results, we are issuing a call to action for more firms to join the movement,” FPRI and iRelaunch stated.

The percentage of CFPs who are women has remained at a low 23% for more than a decade, the paper states.

The CFP Board launched its Women’s Initiative (WIN) to research the causes of this gender gap in the financial planning profession and to develop solutions to address it.

Kompay Om, a mother of three who joined Edelman Financial Engines as the Client Services ReLaunch Intern in October 2017, transitioned to a full-time, permanent position with the firm in December 2017.

“I was out for a little over six years, but I always knew that I wanted to come back because I enjoyed working, especially in client services. When my youngest child reached school age, I knew it was time to return,” Om states in the white paper.

Om previously worked for an investment consulting company for four and a half years.

“I was working in Client Services there as well, so there are a lot of similarities to what I did before and what I’m doing now. There’s a lot of paperwork that requires accuracy and attention to detail, which is something I’ve brought to this experience from my previous role.”