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Why it's up to men to help solve the gender gap

Samantha Downes

Samantha Downes

The story we are covering in this week’s Financial Adviser ‘female advisers earn £25k less than male colleagues’ is no surprise; even though we live in the 21st Century.

Research by recruitment consultants BWD Search & Selection showed that while last year was a particularly profitable year for advisers, male advisers earned on average £81,505, while female advisers earned £56,935.

The survey also found that only 23 per cent of advisers are female – though this has been gradually increasing from 10 per cent in 2013. The reasons given for this disparity is that women tend to work reduced hours than men, mainly to allow for childcare.

My question is – to all the male advisers out there is – why aren’t you working reduced hours to help with childcare? Why are you not combining effort with your wives/partners so that you can both work rather than putting the onus on your female halves.

There is plenty of psychological evidence to suggest that children of both sexes benefit from having both parents around.

My husband still remembers how he barely saw his father and when he did at weekend he was grouchy and tired and moaned about work. This has had a lasting effect on him.

My own father was around more than most, he worked as a financial adviser and later insurance claims investigator, and was home-based. He also did his share of the housework.

I’ve never accepted that just because I am female – ergo physically capable of having children – that I would ever have to sacrifice a career that I have put blood sweat and tears into. For me my career is another child. It also demands full time hours.

When my children are unwell, my husband and I take turns to look after them.

I was at a networking meeting - where I spoke about my own experiences of ‘returning to work’ after I had my children - only to hear woman after woman (some in tears) talk about how they wished their husbands took more of a share of the childcare, so they could pursue their career ambitions. Even if they were only part time.

Many of these women had given up jobs in the city to pursue a work life balance only to find themselves at home all day while their husband worked late.

We can only hope the inflated salaries male advisers earn are worth the unhappiness (future and present) of their children and their spouses.