What You Need to Know
- Female advisors reported higher stress than male advisors, but only slightly higher than in years past.
- A vast majority of those surveyed, 78%, reported job satisfaction.
- Forty-five percent of advisors said their business would be back to normal within a year.
Female advisors have been more stressed than their male counterparts during the pandemic, as 62% of all advisors say net assets under management grew and 57% saw an increase in the number of clients, according to a Northern Trust FlexShares survey of 462 advisors.
The third annual Wellness survey conducted by the ETF group found that female advisors’ stress level was 55.3%, compared with 46.9% for male advisors. The national average is 48.9%.
The elevated stress point for women during the pandemic was largely due to having to wear “multiple hats” in balancing work and family life, the survey noted. That said, despite the pandemic, these stress levels were only slightly higher for both groups than those from the 2018 survey.
“We’ve seen that across the workforce, the pandemic has uniquely impacted women and magnified existing stressors to their work-life balance. However, we believe there are actionable ways the industry can help support female advisors and make the workplace more rewarding,” said Laura Hanichak Gregg, director of practice management and advisor research at FlexShares.
“In general, women are typically better reporters of stress, which can lead to reaching out for help to better manage it. Advisory firms should actively encourage this open discussion of stress factors and offer coping mechanisms — for all genders — such as flexible work arrangements and support on task and time management. These ‘on-the-job’ strategies can help promote significant stress reduction and a more attractive work environment,” she said.
In addition, the survey found political uncertainty in 2020 was the highest-ranked reason for stress, followed by compliance and regulatory issues and client relationships. Pressure on fees and margins was ranked eighth in terms of causing stress.