Breaking the mould: Motivations as a female in financial planning

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I have been working in financial planning for close to five years, currently as a paraplanner, with aspirations of becoming an adviser.

Being a woman in financial services, particularly a woman in financial planning, is not always easy.

Female planners often have to contend with the difficulties any woman in a male-dominated workplace faces, as well as those arising from clients who may, in the first instance, disregard a female adviser altogether, whether consciously or subconsciously.

One of the things that has been motivating me on my journey is knowing I will be able to contribute towards creating greater access to financial planning for women.

Being a woman in financial services is not always easy

The increasing prevalence of female planners allows people to challenge preconceived notions that looking after money should be left to a man, opening doors for women to gain greater knowledge and understanding of their own finances.

With women set to control 60% of the UK’s wealth by 2025, it is frustrating to find many male planners still focus the majority of their time and energy on male clients.

The industry often views female clients as merely spouses, and engagement with them is not where it should be. Men and women often approach their finances differently and it is important to recognise this.

Having more women in financial planning will only help to reduce the gender gap, and I am excited about the direction the industry is going. That said, there is still a lot left to do.

There is a worry women must try and mould themselves into a certain type of person when operating in a workplace geared towards men

Even though there might be fewer barriers to women accessing jobs in financial services than there used to be (Covid and the rise of flexible working playing a huge part in this), challenges remain when actually in a role.

We should be careful not to point to the increasing number of women in financial services as a means to become complacent about the continued gender inequality in the industry.

There is always the worry women must try and mould themselves into a certain type of person when operating in a workplace often geared towards men.

Stereotypically, “feminine” behaviours can be seen as a hindrance or not appropriate in the workplace, but it is becoming increasingly clear that to have any chance of being a successful business, you have to reject homogeneity and embrace the things that make us different.

The increasing prevalence of female planners allows people to challenge preconceived notions that looking after money should be left to a man

Though it is hard to find a workplace where microaggressions against women never happen – and both men and women have to contend with the external and internal unconscious gender biases that contribute to this – I count myself lucky that mine has never made me feel like I couldn’t achieve my goals on account of being a woman.

I have been supported through my exams to become diploma qualified and I have gained invaluable experience from attending client meetings and being trusted to start my own dialogue with clients. I am also a member of the diversity and inclusion team, focusing efforts even further on engaging more women in financial services.

I recognise I work in a forward-thinking City office and am confident the support I have received is putting me in a strong position to provide other women with greater agency and autonomy over their financial lives – something I am extremely passionate about.

Jasmine Pandey is a paraplanner at Finura


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