The number of women advisers within the personal finance market is rising, with more qualifying at advanced levels, industry professionals have claimed.
Despite falls in the numbers of advisers attaining chartered status with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), more and more women continue to be attracted to the industry.
Experts within the sector have identified a number of different reasons why this is the case, including the fact that in many cases women earn more than their male partners and have assumed the role of financial head of the family.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) believes the changing face of the adviser model has played an important role in encouraging more women to the profession.
He said: “The greater need for back office support and emergence of paraplanning as a professional role in its own right has attracted more young women to the sector, some of whom have moved into an advice role given the higher and often integral level of involvement in the financial planning process.”
Jacqueline Lockie, head of financial planning at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, concurred. She said: “The wider recognition of paraplanning plays a big part, as many females come back into the workplace after having a career break and are more than adequately qualified, but not all have the desire to be client facing.
“This is usually because, in the old days, being client facing meant chasing new clients and having targets, so more pressure. There are many great client facing female planners now, partly because those kinds of targets and pressures do not exist and they see there is long term value in an adviser relationship with clients.”
Mr Richards added: “Overall the PFS membership is seeing a positive trend of growth in female advisers and we have increasingly seen a higher percentage of women qualifying at advanced levels which will continue in line with the increasing demand for professional advice services.”
This has been a growing trend over the past few years.
In 2016, for example, the total number of women graduating at the PFS's London ceremony was 36, representing 25.4 per cent of the 142 graduates. The oldest graduate, who became an associate (APFS) on 8 April 2016, was a 64-year-old woman, showing neither age nor gender is a barrier to success.
With more female breadwinners seeking financial advice there is ever greater demand for female advisers, as Zoe Dagless, a financial planner with Addidi Wealth, explained: “It seems likely that many women prefer to speak with female advisers, just as in all likelihood male clients probably prefer to use a male adviser. Given half the population is female, demand still outstrips supply.”
Client preference is less of an issue for advisers, as most see men and women clients alike, and seeking to offer advice to one gender over another is not a factor when considering whether to enter the profession.