It’s a (wo)man’s world!
Rebecca Goater, Network director and financial adviser
“This is a man's world, this is a man's world. But it would be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.” - James Brown 1966
Now that the above song is in your head, I will proceed to the matter in hand, which is actually the world of financial advice (I know, not quite as catchy)!
It may surprise readers to hear that even in 2023, the financial advice industry is still very much a male-dominated industry. Despite this, it’s a great profession for women too and the diverse skills we bring can actually be an advantage in this game.
Firstly, let’s look at the statistics. In Guernsey, there are almost 150 authorised financial advisers, and over 80% of them are male, with 122 authorised male advisers, and just 26 authorised female advisers. Growing up with two brothers, I’ve always been more of a tom-boy and not one to feel intimidated around males in a business setting. Despite that, I do have to mentally prepare myself before entering a room largely filled with men in suits.
This male prevalence in the finance industry started long ago, but things are now (thankfully) changing. I attended an all-girls’ school (in the UK), and whilst I left over 15 years ago now, at the time, the boys’ school offered economics A-level, whereas the girls were only offered business studies or home economics. Now, both are very valid exams (and I would have done both if allowed), but economics was viewed more favourably by universities and firms if you wanted to pursue a career or degree leading to finance. I was therefore insistent that I wanted to study economics and ended up having to do so at the boys’ school. I was the first girl to do so, but others joined me, and followed in subsequent years.
Luckily, it seems this educational disparity is no longer ubiquitous, and indeed a quick perusal of my old school’s website confirms that economics is now offered to the girls as standard, which is excellent news. Naturally, it does take time for such changes to impact the industry and careers for present day students, but perhaps in the future, the scales will be more equalised.
At the moment though, it is still an unbalanced industry, and I have on occasion felt the pre-conception that finance remains a male area. I have attended two meetings with providers trying to sell their products to us where they aimed the entire meeting at my male colleague, and I was largely ignored. When it came to the key question in the meeting (whether we would be interested in their product), and it was I who answered, they nearly fell off their chairs. I quite enjoyed it actually, but it’s still a sad reminder that the default view is often that the man is in charge.
Because of this, I have latterly been trying to put myself out there in the financial advice industry and I have been lucky to meet a number of other strong females in the sector who I very much enjoy working with. In some ways, being a woman may be helping me stand out, which is a nice twist. And what I really want to do now, is to try and encourage more females to join the industry, and a career for which I would argue women have a strong natural gift.
It’s worth considering that times are changing. Women are expected to inherit 70% of the wealth passed down over the next two generations, to control two-thirds of household wealth by 2030 and make up ~ 53% of UK millionaires by 2025.
This means the amount of female clients seeking advisers are increasing and ultimately, financial advice comes down to trust and business relationships. This involves listening, empathising, and asking questions - skills that women generally hold. And 70% of women who work with financial advisers have confirmed they prefer a woman adviser, so it seems like a good idea to have a few more available!
I have experienced first-hand that it is often easier for a woman to form a bond with another woman. This bond then encourages an honest relationship, and ultimately leads to good financial advice, as the high level of engagement means that the adviser has the clearest possible understanding of their financial circumstances and their objectives.
So, what I’m trying to say (without offending 80% of my own industry!) is that, despite women advisers being in the minority, we can be just as good at it (I dare not say better, but I’ll always aim to be!). And to any females considering starting or changing their career, perhaps consider financial advice, because we need you!
Financial advice IS a woman’s world!
Should you or anyone you know have an interest in a career in finance and have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to have a chat.
Should you require any financial advice please get in touch with us at email@example.com or on 01481 701400 and one of our team (of male and female advisers) will be able to assist.
 Confirmed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission 31st January 2023.
 Centre for Economics and Business Research
We’d love to stay in touch and keep you up to date with the very best insurance and financial planning advice