- Understanding the Gender Pay Gap
- How Employers can Improve the Representation of Women in Financial Planning
- Is Education the Key?
- Final thoughts
Historically, women in the financial planning profession have been underrepresented and paid less than their male colleagues. There are many contributing factors for the gender pay gap, arguably, the main reason is the result of systemic discrimination that has prevented women from advancing their careers and achieving fair representation in the workplace. So, how do we combat this? For starters, employers must recognise the need for change and take steps to continue to close the gap. But also, we need to be able to look back, in order to look forward…
Over the 2 and a half years that the podcast has been running, we have spoken to countless female financial planners who are living proof of the gender shift within financial planning as a whole. Take chartered fellow, Emma Hall for instance. In her episode of the financial planner life podcast, she shared with us her experiences of becoming a financial planner in a male-dominated industry. She explains that she has certainly seen a shift in the last 16 years.
“There is a shift in dynamic, you can feel it. Everybody’s realising that it should be about your talent and who you are, and not whether you’re a man or a woman.”
So, how do we continue to shift old-fashioned bias, close the gender pay gap, and promote financial planning to be a progressive and inclusive career choice?
Understanding the Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is the difference between what men and women are paid in a given job or profession. It is not to be confused with equal pay – which refers to both sexes being paid the same rate for doing an equivalent job. In the financial planning profession, statistics show that women in similar roles as their male counterparts are routinely paid less. This gap is due to a range of factors, including the lack of women in senior positions, outdated discrimination, and unequal access to training. Additionally, research has shown that women are routinely overlooked for promotions due to outdated notions of gender roles in the workplace!
How Employers can Improve the Representation of Women in Financial Planning
According to a survey conducted by The Personal Finance Society, only 38% of female advisers reported that their employer had taken steps to ensure an equal and supportive working environment, compared to 52% of men. This demonstrates the need for employers to do more in order to bridge the gender pay gap and ensure that female workers are given equal opportunities within their organisation.
The Personal Finance Society report also suggests creating initiatives that promote equal representation and opportunity for both sexes, as well as providing flexible resources that give females increased access. This can be tremendously beneficial, especially for those who have to balance both home responsibilities and work. Additionally, employers should ensure that hiring and promotion processes are fair and unbiased. If you need help in this area, you can speak to a recruitment consultant here to start hiring the best talent out there.
By taking these steps, employers can help to close the gender pay gap in the financial planning profession and create a more equitable working environment for all. This will not only result in fairer pay for women but also increase job satisfaction and job security, creating a healthier and more productive workplace for all.
Finally, employers should strive to create an open culture within their organisation that not only encourages but celebrates diversity in the workplace. By creating an inclusive environment where everyone is treated fairly and with respect, employers can ensure that both men and women are given the same opportunities to succeed in the workplace.
Is Education the Key?
When we spoke to Danielle Arnold (now Danielle Pearce) on the Financial Planner Life podcast, she explained that teaching financial planning as a profession in schools is a brilliant way to educate the next generation as a whole, but particularly influencing the younger generation of females who might think it would be a male-dominated profession.
Danielle is head of paraplanning at Bespoke Wealth Limited, but she also volunteers for the CII in schools to teach financial education to young people between key stage 3 and key stage 5. This was her take on how to pioneer financial planning within education, particularly female education:
“I think financial education should be mandatory on the curriculum… the profession’s crying out for more women and one of the best ways to get more young women (and women of all ages!) is for people within positions of directorship or leadership roles demonstrating that they’ve progressed through the profession and made a career out of it, despite the industry being predominantly male. Showing that it’s a very rewarding career for females and it suits women perfectly. So, women have a duty, I think, to step up and talk about the profession more and that’s one of the best ways to attract more women to the profession.”
Full episode here:
Teaching financial planning in schools can be a powerful way to encourage more young people, particularly females into the profession. Providing females with access to resources that teach them how to manage their money and gain financial security will help open up the possibility of financial planning being seen as a viable career option. Not only would this help close the gender gap within the profession, but it could also lead to more females becoming financial planners.
So, there you have it. Employers have an important role to play in closing the gender pay gap within the financial planning profession. By investing in initiatives such as mentoring and career progression schemes tailored specifically for women and by creating an inclusive working environment that values diversity of thought, employers can help to bridge the gender pay gap and ensure that all employees are given equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace.
Additionally, education is key and by teaching financial planning as a profession in schools, particularly targeting female students, the industry will become more diverse and representative of its entire population. By taking steps such as these, we can ensure that the financial planning profession remains an equal space for all.
If you would like to learn more about gender equality in the workplace, or for advice on how your organisation can promote this, please feel free to get in touch with our team and we would be happy to provide you with more information. For further guidance on salaries download our 2023 salary guide here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope that it has inspired you to take meaningful actions toward advancing gender equality in the financial planning profession. Together, we can create a workplace where everyone is given the opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoy a rewarding career.
*Some stats and info are taken from the PFS – Women’s career progression in FS Report.