Financial advisers calling for gender balance – Openwork

Financial advisers are demanding immediate action to be taken on recruiting more women into the industry, according to new research from Openwork.

The research, which was conducted among 100 IFAs by research agency Pollright during October 2019, found that 34% of advisers believe their firm must hire more women into both senior and junior level roles.

Openwork, the financial advice network, revealed the nationwide study at its annual Women in Financial Services conference at Gibson Hall in London – which attracted a record turnout of more than 150 female advisers and financial services professionals.

Industry data has shown approximately 11% of all advisers are female, which Openwork suggested is highlighting the need to increase efforts to encourage women to enter the profession, both in terms of training and development, and also in doing a better job of explaining the benefits of working in the industry.

Openwork said its own recruitment and training is focused on closing the female adviser gap with the Openwork Academy, which provides structured learning and qualification support to achieve a successful career in financial advice.

The advice network said it is working to increase the number of female advisers that pass through its Academy – and revealed 32% of those that joined the Academy in 2018 were female, which has risen to 38% in 2019.

Openwork chief marketing officer, Claire Oldstein, commented: “Openwork is committed to increasing the number of women working in financial services, and yesterday’s conference shows that there is a huge appetite among many women to pursue a career in financial advice.

“The entire event was shaped by the goals and the needs of Openwork’s female network, the desire to find role models, engage with peers and learn from each other.

“Recruiting more women is good for business as much as anything else, but it is perfectly clear that the industry as a whole must do much more to tackle the recruitment issue.

“Our research shows that women are genuinely interested in pursuing a career in advice and advisers themselves would like to see female representation at their firms increase.”

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