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Just 30% of Financial Advisers Are Women, Study Finds

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Though 50 percent of all Americans and nearly two-thirds of the nation’s workforce is made up of women, the number of women in the financial industry is extremely low, and still falling.

Today, just 30 percent of financial advisers are women, and with the number of those in the field continuing to decline, there may be many reasons for this, according to new research from Pershing. For instance, data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that women make 58 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers, and over the course of a 35-year career that costs them an average of $1.25 million. In addition, many women may find it far more difficult to break through the ranks at the executive level, and few top companies are making that a priority; less than half of those in the Fortune 500 stated that developing women executives is something they have on their agenda.

If anything, those concerns may lead to more women to pull out of the finance industry, the report said.

“While attrition is eating away at the number of current advisers for a number of reasons, the need for investment advice continues to grow,” said Kim Dellarocca , head of practice management and segment marketing at Pershing. “In fact, we expect that financial services firms will need to recruit hundreds of thousands of new advisers over the next decade to meet growing demand. Financial services businesses would be well-served to better recruit and retain womenadvisors to help fill this need.”

But at the same time, when it comes to seeking the advice of financial advisers, 46 percent of women do so, compared with just 34 percent of men, the report said. This may indicate that women in general have a firmer understanding of financial basics and recognize the need for sound financial advice that they may receive from a professional in the industry, meaning that they may be prime for recruitment into it as well.

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Women and men alike may be having more financial difficulties these days as a result of the slow economic recovery and other lingering problems that may still remain from the recession, such as large debt totals or damaged credit ratings. Taking the time to address these concerns may be of the utmost importance going forward for members of both sexes.

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