Sarah Abood (left), Adele Martin and Diane Charman

As International Women’s Day rolls around for another year, the finance industry openly acknowledges that it needs to find new ways to better accommodate female planners.

For every female in the financial advice industry, there are four males (just 22.5 per cent of advisers are women), according to data from Adviser Ratings.

But behind closed doors, financial advice firms are working to better understand what it takes to attract women so that the industry can work towards achieving gender parity.

While some firms are making decent inroads, others continue to struggle to overcome the older white male financial adviser stereotype plaguing the industry.

Jade Financial Group managing director Dianne Charman has three financial planners in her business, recruiting one young woman from the reception desk after a gentle nudge.

“Finding those pathways and thinking about recruiting differently is crucial,” Charman says.

“We also really have to promote flexibility. One of our key advisers works four days a week, which suits her work/life balance.”

Building a foundation

Alteris Financial Group boats over 60 per cent of its firm being women including the senior executive team.

Joanne Akkari, Alteris FG brand and marketing manager, says the women in the group created Alteris Women to help support and empower each other.

“Alteris Women’s mission is to advance women’s economic standing from a position of knowledge, skill and lived experience,” she says.

“We are active in our pursuit to empower more women to take control of their finances through knowledge sharing and charitable contribution.”

Akkari says this has benefitted the businesses Employee Value Proposition.

“Many of our new staff, female and male, [cite] it as a driver for their interest in joining Alteris; and our current staff citing their pride in the program and their desire to actively participate in the community,” she says.