3 Keys to Forging Your Path as a Female in Financial Services

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3 Keys to Forging Your Path as a Female in Financial Services

07/15/2021

Today, women comprise only 15% of the financial professional population, and most leadership positions are held by men.

Michelle Barry, President
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When I began my career on Wall Street, the financial services industry was largely dominated by men. The advisory space in particular is still seen as a traditionally male-oriented field. Today, women comprise only 15% of the financial professional population, and most leadership positions are held by men. 

We have made big strides, but there is still much work to be done in educating women about the potential that exists for them in the profession. Women tend to be great problem solvers, relationship builders, and people leaders, making them well-suited to excel in the financial advice industry.

To make that a reality though, it’s important for women to see other women in leadership positions. I recently sat down with Advisor Perspectives Founder and CEO Bob Huebscher to share my experience as a female in this industry and key takeaways for other young professionals in the field: 

  • Believe in yourself. When looking at a job description, studies show that women are more likely to focus on the one or two requisites they fail to satisfy whereas men would believe themselves to be qualified. Once you have the job, channel the confidence to take on projects you may not be familiar with. That’s the only way to gain experience! Leaders must also take this approach as they play a vital role in instilling confidence in their team members. Encourage them to raise their hand then serve as a mentor as they learn a new skill.
  • Take risks. Look for jobs that scare you. Do not remain stagnant in safe jobs or settle for lateral moves. I have never taken a job that I wasn’t a little scared of. Challenging yourself is the only way to grow. Those who ascend to senior positions regularly take on stretch roles — positions they do not know everything about but are equipped to learn. 
  • Lean on others. Do not be afraid to ask for help. In fact, all successful leaders do. They rely on the support of peers, mentors, and bosses. As you grow in your career, know that many people are eager and willing to help as they remember their journey and the guidance they had along the way.

For more insight on navigating a career in the financial services industry and empowering female professionals, tune into my podcast with Advisor Perspectives.

 
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