The CFP Board recently released some positive news for women in the financial planning business: Female certified financial planners topped 20,000 in numbers for the first time in 2019, a 4% gain from 2018.

This was in line with the CFP Board’s end-year report 86,378 professionals, up some 4%, or 3,000, over 2018. Further, there was a 12% growth in black and Hispanic professionals, to 3.259.

In a statement, the Board told Women in Wealth, that it “has undertaken a number of initiatives to increase the public’s access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. As part of this work, CFP Board is committed to serving as the leader and catalyst for gender parity in the profession.

“Comprehensive research, undertaken by the Center for Financial Planning’s Women’s Initiative (WIN), has resulted in recommendations for attracting more women into the profession as well as making the profession itself more attractive to women,” the group added. “Our efforts to achieve gender equality incorporates these recommendations. It is an enormous task, but well worth the effort.”

According to the CFP’s WIN program, launched in 2013, the level of women in the business has remained around 23% for the last several years. A white paper released after the launch of the program found the growth of women in the business “will be a marathon not a sprint.”

The Board also saw overall growth attributed in part to encouraging firms to move toward “holistic” advice models.

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