CFP BOARD - Women's Initiative - Increasing the Number of Women CFP® Professionals

November 2014

Nancy Kistner

Eleanor Blayney, CFP®

From CFP Board's Consumer Advocate

We Want to Hear From You 

In talking with many of you who support CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative, we’re learning that “women’s initiatives” are up and running at many firms within the financial planning industry. We’d love to learn more about these programs – what’s working and what’s still needed – to inform our own WIN efforts. Please send us an email to share what your firm or professional communities are doing at


Want to Become a WIN Advocate?


Offer your time and passion and CFP Board will do the rest! We’ve created a toolkit for our WIN Advocates with messages and presentations that they can “grab and go” as they walk out the door to spread the WIN message.

To become a WIN Advocate:

• You must be a CFP® professional in good standing with CFP Board (no public disciplinary history and not under investigation)
• Go to and complete the online form
• CFP Board will send you instructions to access the WIN Toolkit
• If you have questions, contact

Terms of use:

• Toolkit may only be used in WIN activities by CFP® professionals designated by CFP Board as WIN Advocates
• You are not authorized to send the Toolkit to another person
• If you know CFP® professionals who are interested in becoming WIN Advocates, please refer them to CFP Board

Women’s Pay Raises: Leave it up to Karma

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, recently made headlines by offering his opinion that women shouldn’t need to ask for pay raises. If they are doing good work, the “universe” will take note and reward them appropriately.

Nadella’s remarks were instantly criticized as being distinctly unfriendly to women. However, his apparent belief in a just and equitable universe is very similar to a belief attributed to women themselves, according to the well-known journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, who spent several years studying the confidence gap between women and men, and highlighted some of their findings in a recent article in The Atlantic. Kay and Shipman begin the article by observing “For years, we women have kept our heads down and played by the rules. We’ve been certain that with enough hard work, our natural talents would be recognized and rewarded.”

CFP Board’s WIN research indicated that in the financial planning world, this certainty that women’s efforts will be automatically recognized doesn't hold true. Among surveyed financial advisors with similar credentials, the men out-earned the women advisors by approximately $32,000 a year.


Girl Talk…


The effort to make the financial planning profession more attractive to women must begin very early, with young girls and preteens, to build awareness of financial planning as a real career choice. So we’ve been doing some thinking about the best way to reach young girls and capture their interest.


We asked some women CFP® professionals who frequently speak to children about money and financial literacy for ideas on how to make the WIN message interesting and appealing to young girls.


CFP Board Ambassador Marguerita Cheng, CFP® shared her experience talking to her daughter’s third grade class about financial planning. She emphasized the power of visuals and interactive tasks for kids. “I bought an artificial ficus tree from Michaels craft store. I used paper clips and had the kids attach play money to the leaves of each tree. This was to convey the message that money does not grow on trees and that a financial planner helps people manage their money and plan for the important milestones in life."


Another CFP Board Ambassador, Elaine King, CFP®, frequently speaks to the young children of her family office clients. She recommends getting kids talking right away. “Ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Then tell your own story about becoming a financial planner, and what you really like about your career.” Elaine also mentioned that just about every elementary school system has a career day where you would be welcome to come and talk about financial planning.



The WIN Speaking Tour Continues!


Now that the white paper has been released, CFP Board is speaking to audiences around the country on its WIN research and recommendations for making financial planning an attractive career for women. Please join us at one of the following events.


November 6: At the Schwab IMPACT conference in Denver, Eleanor Blayney, CFP® will be presenting "Making More Room for Women CFP® Professionals” on the X-Stage. Register


November 20: Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, CFP Board Managing Director of Public Policy and Communications, and Eleanor Blayney, CFP® will be facilitating a "Call to Action" discussion at the Women Advisors Forum in San Francisco. Register


“Being a Female in this Profession is a Strong Point”


Lazetta Braxton, CFP®, CFP Board WIN Council member, recently spoke to InvestmentNews about the opportunities and challenges of being a woman CFP® professional.

In the InvestmentNews video, Lazetta shares an important piece of advice for women wanting to succeed in financial planning: “Stay true to yourself.” In Lazetta’s case, this meant taking a risk and going out on her own to establish her firm, Financial Fountains. After all, she says, as a woman she knew she would be able to figure out any challenges that came her way.

View the video 






The mission of CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) is to identify why relatively few women choose to become part of the financial planning profession, to make recommendations for encouraging and supporting women to pursue careers in financial planning, and to undertake efforts and campaigns to address the “feminine famine” in financial planning.


Learn more about the Initiative




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