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financial-servicesRaise your hand if the goals for your practice include:

• Increasing revenues
• Presenting a broader range of products to clients
• Selling more lines of business to clients

As common as these goals may be, they are often elusive – perhaps because you don’t have the right team in place.

The next time you review your team, assess if women are equally represented. Why? A survey of Wells Fargo advisors, revealed that after only four years in the industry, women frequently outperform their male counterparts in each of these three areas.

Yet women continue to be underrepresented in many practices. According to Cerulli Associates, in 2011, women comprised 14 percent of financial professionals. Seven years later, at only 16 percent of financial professionals, little progress has been made.

Regardless of the target market, potential clients are more likely to engage a firm if they see employees within the firm with similar traits and characteristics. Want to attract women to your practice? Add women to your team. Although most men and women have no objection to working with someone of the opposite gender, women are becoming more selective about their financial professional. Many financial websites offer advice about what women should look for in an advisor. With women holding 51 percent of the country’s wealth, attracting and retaining that demographic is crucial.

Making the profession attractive to women will take a few adjusts to the job. Recent research presented at the annual Ladenburg Institute of Women and Finance Symposium, suggests three ways to attract women to the industry.

  1. Implement a mentorship program that provides frequent opportunities for feedback and guidance. A formal structure and visible support for the program from leadership is essential to a productive mentoring relationship.
  2. Sponsor events aimed to attract women from within the profession. This serves two purposes; a networking opportunity and validation that women can be successful in the industry.
  3. Spotlight the entrepreneurial aspects of being an advisor. Flexible schedules and pay equality are very appealing to many advisors, male and female. Promote the unlimited income potential, the flexibility to achieve work/life balance and the fact that income is based on quantifiable, measurable performance.

Studies show that financial services practices benefit when the team has a balance of men and women. Generally, women advisors and clients take a holistic approach to determine financial goals and to plot the plan to reach them. As the industry moves to a fee-based model, the holistic approach can make the transition much smoother.

For more insights about adding women to your practice, read Want to Market to Women? Start by Hiring More Women. If you’d like to increase your disability insurance sales, introduce all new advisors to DIS. Our DIS Crash Course is a great place to start.