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Women Make Strides in Financial Services

Posted: October 09, 2018
Posted in: Strategic Thinking

The financial services industry has traditionally been male dominated, but a shift has started to occur, with more emphasis placed upon supporting female growth in this field. Also important, is a new Statistics Canada Report which notes that women-owned service industry businesses are experiencing higher growth rates than those owned by men, which bodes well for female leaders in the tax and financial services.

As government initiatives advocate to improve resources for female business owners, improving gender parity in male-dominated industries, so do two important events taking place over the next two months. The events, which aim to highlight the achievements of women in the financial services sector, are the Canadian Summit for Women in Financial Planning, taking place in Toronto on October 16; and Knowledge Bureau’s Distinguished Advisor Conference, which will be held in Quebec City from November 11-14.

Why are initiatives supporting women in the industry so important? The Statistics Canada Report on women-owned enterprises shows that there continues to be a disparity, as they only account for 18 percent of privately owned businesses. However, it also highlights that these businesses experience more significant employment growth (20 percent, versus 12 percent in male-owned businesses), demonstrating the important role these businesses play in Canada’s economic growth.

It’s not just important to support female business owners either. Rather, it should be a priority to further the development of all women in the financial services industry in order to close some of the gender gaps; with benefits that translate to clients.

A U.S. report estimates that only about 30 percent of tax and financial advisors are female. But according to RBC, female clients appreciate a more goal-oriented, relationship-based approach to discussing financial matters that may be better served up by those that can relate to those gender-based preferences. This is particularly important when 92 percent of women are the sole or joint decision makers about household finances, according to a CIBC poll on investments.

Closing these gaps and supporting women in the role they play in the financial services industry, is precisely what the Canadian Summit for Women in Financial Planning intends to accomplish, according to event organizer Angie Pfeifer of Investors Group, “With a theme of Shaping and accelerating the future of women in the financial planning industry, the summit will focus on key topics and education to support the growth of women in the financial services sector. The purpose of the conference is to gather a mixed group of women from various financial services firms across the industry who want to learn from highly-respected industry professionals, network with each other and hear from panels of women executives and advisors.”

Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Tuesday, October 16, this event gives female advisors the opportunity to hear top-tier educational content from industry experts and thought leaders and be inspired by the stories of successful women from the financial planning sector.

Knowledge Bureau’s Distinguished Advisor Conference agenda features more female thought leaders than ever before, including the celebration of Kristin Ramal – this year’s recipient of the DAC Young Advisor Award. Read last week’s feature for more information about this inspiring young woman, and learn more about this national award.

The information covered in the DAC sessions will have an immediate impact on the work tax and financial advisors do with individual and small business clients before year-end. Delegates will network and learn with a national audience of top advisors about:

  • Cultural, geographic and economic diversity and their effects on investment strategies
  • Global competitiveness and U.S. tax reforms
  • Cybersecurity, compliance, and best interest duties
  • Personal, corporate and cross-border tax
  • Retirement, succession, and estate planning
  • Leadership development and impact investing

Additional educational resources:

Are you a woman looking to grow your business, or advance in your career as an advisor? Build your leadership skills by attending the Business Builder Retreat, taking place before the Distinguished Advisor Conference on November 10-11. Also enroll in the MFA – Executive Business Growth Services Specialist Program.



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