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Diversity and Women's Research

Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession

This report, authored by Eleanor Blayney, CFP® on behalf of CFP Board's Women's Initiative ("WIN") Advisory Panel, presents the findings of a comprehensive research study on the causes of the "feminine famine" in financial planning, and recommendations for increasing the number of women CFP® professionals.

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Key findings from the research include:

  • Women lack awareness of financial planning and the CFP® certification process.
  • Women harbor misperceptions about the financial planning profession and CFP® certification.
  • Women’s reluctance to take professional risks may be keeping them from entering the financial planning profession. For those women in the profession, this same risk aversion may be inhibiting their success and/or professional satisfaction.
  • Gender discrimination and bias exist within the financial planning profession, likely resulting in women feeling unwelcome and unsupported.

Actionable recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Move up in the financial planning profession by reaching down: seek out opportunities to help mentor younger, less experienced women financial planning students and professionals. Organize a mentorship program within your firm or organization.
  • Work within your firm to set measurable diversity goals (numbers, compensation, internal support programs). Share your experience on what works and what doesn’t to improve gender diversity and opportunity in your firm.
  • Encourage and support employee’s efforts to obtain CFP® certification with time off for exam study, reimbursement for coursework and/or exam fees, and supportive study groups within the firm.
CFP Board is asking all to join in the work of transforming our profession to flourish in a future that must necessarily look very different from the past.

Download the Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession Report

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