Women clients see investing as a means to an end, not the end game.

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René Nourse

Founder and CEO, Urban Wealth Management Group

An early mentor once advised René Nourse, founder and managing director of Urban Wealth Management in El Segundo, Calif., "If you want to be successful, you have to be in places where you'll stand out."

As an African-American female professional in the financial industry, that is no problem.

Over 30-plus years, having overcome many challenges as a minority adviser, Ms. Nourse has responded by working to make the industry more hospitable to other women and people of color.

To that end, she actively supports the Association of African American Financial Advisors, known as Quad-A, which is working with the FPA to recruit more diverse people to the industry.

Regarding women in the industry, Ms. Nourse has observed that they still face particular barriers.

"What's different for women is that we go through the training process, we do well, but then get dropped into a sales environment. Part of the reason many women fall out is because we're more relationship-oriented," she said.

The industry needs to adapt and create a sustainable environment to support female advisers' and clients' communication styles and their preferences for collaboration, teamwork, feedback and strategic planning, Ms. Nourse said.

"Not only do we work differently than men, but women clients see investing as means to an end, not the end game," she said.

— Deborah Nason

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