Success and Satisfaction of Women in Financial Planning
55 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2018 Last revised: 14 Mar 2019
Date Written: September 6, 2018
There has been a lot of discussions, research, and initiatives about different aspects that relate to building the financial planning profession by attracting and retaining talented financial planners. An acknowledged problem and challenge for the profession is lack of ethnic and gender diversity. Surveys have shown that many people view financial planning as primarily a profession of white males. We know that the number of women financial planners has remained stagnant for the past decade and are curious as to reasons behind this lack of growth, especially since there is no evidence that women lack the skills or traits necessary to be a successful planner. Previous research has found evidence of sexism in the profession which includes significantly lower compensation for women, and different treatment of women by their fellow planners and employers.
We surveyed 224 experienced professional financial planners to analyze their feelings of satisfaction and success and how these feelings related to their gender, size of practice, education, personality traits, age, and years of experience. The women in our sample were equivalent or better than men with regards to education, experience, personality (the Big-Five Personality Traits), and CFP® certifications. However, we found that professional career satisfaction was surprisingly higher for women if they worked for a solo practice rather than for a large firm where both men and women felt more successful.
Keywords: Financial planning, gender diversity, advisors, CFP®
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