The co-chairs of the event planning committee included: Jaime Desmond of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management; Janine Wertheim of Securities America; Jacqueline Simkin, a member of the Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Board; Arielle Jaffe of Investacorp; and Marilyn Hosten, Amy Rehn and Christine Bermingham of Triad Advisors.
GROWTH OF WOMEN IN FINANCE
Alexandra Taussig, Senior Vice President of Marketing, for National Financial, noted at the symposium that while more women have been entering the field, women are still significantly under-represented in the advisory space overall.
“According to Fidelity’s sixth annual Broker & Advisor Sentiment Index Study, the advisory profession continues to be male-dominated, with men representing 87 percent of respondents and women representing 13 percent,” Taussig said. “But female advisors who have fewer than five years of experience have increased by 40 percent since 2010. With women projected to account for over 50 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women may become a stronger force in the industry and the overall percentage of female advisors may grow over time.”
Ann Hughes, founder and president of The Female Affect, commented at the symposium that “Women have been hard at work acquiring significant wealth and amassing massive spending power. In fact, today approximately 70 percent of women work outside the home. Women control 72 percent of the total spending in America, which creates an affluent force to be reckoned with. The trend is gaining momentum with today’s youth, as 140 women are awarded bachelor’s degrees for every 100 men earning the same degree.”
Emphasizing that women have unique lifestyle differences, Hughes noted that on average, women live four to six years longer than their male counterparts, and frequently find themselves supporting elderly parents while still raising children. “While women are the exact demographic that need the assistance of the financial services industry, instead of flocking to females in droves, it has been a traditionally male-dominated space,” she told attendees. “At the same time, in a recent industry study, 32 percent of women left their financial advisor because they did not listen to their needs or because they did not trust them. The financial services industry cannot continue on this path – the very demographic that has the largest need, wealth and spending power is being marginalized at best and often ignored.”