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Only 16% of Advisors Are Women: Cerulli

January 19, 2017



Cerulli Associates, a global research and consulting firm, reports that women represent nearly 51% of the U.S. population, yet only 15.7% of the financial advisor headcount. Of the 310,504 total advisors across all channels, a mere 48,631 are women. The good news is that Cerulli found a slight uptick in female rookie advisors, which it says could indicate a positive trend toward an even gender distribution.


In the report, female advisors identify barriers to entry for more young women considering the profession. One such barrier is a lack of familiarity with the financial advisor profession.


“As they search for entry-level jobs out of college, look to re-enter the workforce, or decide to pivot into financial services, women often simply do not consider financial advising an option,” the report states.


The commission lifestyle associated with financial advisors is another.


“Variable compensation structures present risks that women who seek security and stability from their careers find prohibitive,” the report states.


A 3rd factor is that the technical aspects of investment management are also less likely to draw a woman to the industry when compared with a man.  59% of women (vs. 81% of men) cite interest in investment topics as a major reason to pursue a financial advising career.


Fact is that nearly all (94%) female rookie advisors consider the desire to help people reach their goals to be a major factor for becoming an advisor.


Benefits of Bringing on More Female Advisors.    According to Cerulli, increasing the number of women advisors could offer a solution to the industry’s impending succession crisis and talent shortage as advisor retirement accelerates.


“Close to 40% of advisors plan to retire within the next 10 years, leaving the industry scrambling to groom replacements,” Shtyrkov said in a statement. “Women present an untapped talent pool that offers a solution to the industry’s recruiting problems. By expanding their focus and altering their recruiting strategies to appeal directly to female candidates, broker-dealers (BDs) and RIA custodians can help fill the gaps left by retiring advisors.”