Numbers Game

Numbers Gameblog

Latest research and trends from around the financial advisory business, updated regularly highlighting stats, charts, infographics and all things data.

Advice business lags behind comparable careers in hiring women

Data show that old arguments about 'numbers' or 'selling' dissuading women from this career don't add up

Apr 16, 2014 @ 11:28 am

By Liz Skinner and Matt Sirinides

Women make up about a quarter of the nation's financial advisers, a pretty skimpy figure considering it is a well-paying career that doesn't require a tremendous educational commitment and offers great work-life balance, at least after the first five years or so. What's surprising is the number of professions that have just as high a percentage — or higher — of women among their ranks.

The Labor Department reports about 62% of accountants, 44% of economists and 33% of financial analysts are women, three careers that focus on numbers and mathematics, a feature that some have pointed to as a reason why women may be avoiding the financial advice business.

About 58% of real estate agents, 45% of insurance sales agents and 33% of securities sales agents are women, suggesting that they are willing to make a living selling, another skill the successful financial adviser needs that some say turn off prospective female professionals. And women outnumber men three to one as psychologists, a discipline that many financial advisers say they spend much of their time practicing each day.

About 58% of real estate agents, 45% of insurance sales agents and 33% of securities sales agents are women, suggesting that they are willing to make a living selling, another skill the successful financial adviser needs that some say turn off prospective female professionals. And women outnumber men three to one as psychologists, a discipline that many financial advisers say they spend much of their time practicing each day.

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