Encouraging Broader Diversity in the Financial Planning Profession

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Forums / CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative / Encouraging Broader Diversity in the Financial Planning Profession

Encouraging Broader Diversity in the Financial Planning Profession

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  1. CFP Board
    CFP Board avatar
    4 posts
    04/17/2014 9:51 AM
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    CFP Board’s WIN study focused on women in the financial planning profession. What are your thoughts on the broader topic of diversity within the financial planning profession?  What can we do to help the CFP® professional population and the financial planning profession better reflect the demographics of the public that benefits from financial planning?

    Last modified on 04/21/2014 2:26 PM by CFP Board
  2. Joseph Coco
    Joseph  Coco avatar
    1 posts
    04/22/2014 4:25 PM
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    Who thinks it is a problem that women only make up 23% of those entering our profession? Will the CFP designation lose its value to current members if female matriculation stays at 23% for another decade? Personally, I am getting pretty weary of all this female recruiting. I don't remember anyone teaching me any male only secret handshakes when I entered the business. No recruiters knocked on my door, and I didn't get any special mentors. I actually recruited myself by picking up a copy of the Yellow Pages and calling local investment professionals and setting up my own interviews. To suggest we don't have enough women is code speak for we have too many men. 
    Personally, I am not very interested in gender targeting, and I hope none of my CFP dues are being used for gender targeting. 
    Last modified on 04/22/2014 4:29 PM by Joseph Coco
  3. Allan Moskowitz
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    1 posts
    04/22/2014 5:08 PM
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    This study is a step in the right direction.  I am more concerned that we don't have more minorities in the profession.  It seems to be very lacking, and even more so than by gender.  I realize it is difficult and not a simple problem, but would like to see more emphasis there as well.
  4. Jennifer Migdal
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    1 posts
    04/30/2014 4:51 PM
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    I find these types of discussions interesting.  FPA has had an ongoing discussion along these lines as well.  As a woman who worked as a physicist (another underrepresented area) and provided feedback to the University of Memphis Engineering Dean on his efforts to increase diversity within undergrad and graduate students, it's okay to have this discussion, but to understand that men find this threatening or offputting or offensive. 

    The real issues can be about how women prefer to work as collaborators rather than competitors (and this is a competitive business), how they like to work in a team setting rather than a "go it alone" model, and how our American culture does not reward women for seeking technical/financial fields. 

    As a math and science teacher before I had children, one of my areas of emphasis was on why analytical thinking and mathematics as the language of analysis and science were actually kind of cool, but until we win the culture wars, that's a really hard sell for a lot of girls and women from middle school to postgraduates. 

    Also the reality for many women, despite Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book, is that there are many challenges related to being a wife and mother that are not the same for the husband/father.  I am currently supporting a young mom (by using her services) in our profession who works out of her home because of young children.  She has much less flexibility to be fully responsive to an employer's needs.  I consider my work with her an investment in her future; however I think that very few employers are willing to make those kinds of allowances when it comes to their bottom line. 

    I would also love to see more minorities in the profession, but again I think we have to overcome the stereotypes.  My own daughters have told me that financial stuff is too boring.  Apparently forensic pathology and neurochemistry are MUCH more interesting to them.  ("Geek" is a term of affection around our house.)

    Ultimately, I think we all just want to make financial planning better as a profession and progress towards a perception of integrity and putting clients first.  Thank you for reading this.
    Last modified on 04/30/2014 4:52 PM by Jennifer Migdal
  5. Richard Ringgold
    Richard Ringgold avatar
    1 posts
    04/30/2014 5:34 PM in reply to Jennifer Migdal
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    I am also an older engineer and that profession has few women, so nothing new that women are not attracted to analytical fields, math teachers and CPA's aside.  Ditto minorities. These are problems that WIN can not solve, deep seeded sociological and family issues at play.

    We should be open to all persons, period.  What we should NOT do is lower standards if that where this WIN study is headed. I understand that the CFP test is being made somewhat easier (shorter?) and that is not a move in the right direction either. We actually need even better training in qualified plans and social security planning. 

    The real problem is that we are practically invisible to the public, which is not news. We should use our resources to solve that problem for existing CFP's. Past attempts have been feeble and ineffective, so spending money here is simply irritating to me and to many others I suspect. Would the Board put the WIN to a vote?

    Better plan: get rid of the 3 yr experience rule and do something to graduate CFP's directly from college. About half of the financial planning graduates can't pass the test after 3 years and never get certified.  Engineers, on the other hand, pass a comprehensive certification test just before they graduate and prospective CFP's should be offered the same thing. Happy result:you will get more women, too.

  6. Michael Valentine
    Michael Valentine avatar
    1 posts
    04/30/2014 7:05 PM
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    We could always deny any new male members until we reach gender parity. Foolish, yes, but no more foolish than getting involved in culture wars we have neither the talent or resources to influence, much less win. Let's focus on raising the profile of the CFP marks and presence in the financial community as well as the importance of engaging qualified financial professionals to help with planning. Who knows, perhaps this will  encourage women to explore our field.
  7. Emmet Martin
    Emmet Martin avatar
    1 posts
    05/01/2014 9:50 AM
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    Why don't all of the females that work at the CFP Board get licensed, quit their jobs and start RIAs?  Lead by example.
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