Female financial advisers make up about one third of the global workforce with higher numbers in our region compared with the US and Europe, according to data from the Financial Planning Standards Board.

The FPSB, which is the standards-setting body for the global financial planning profession and representing 223,700 CFPs, puts the global figure at 34 per cent at the end of 2022 with newer data expected in March.

“On a regional level, in Asia the percentage of female CFP professionals is 48 per cent, the Americas 25.5 per cent and Europe 25 per cent,” Sydney-based FPSB chief executive Dante De Gori said.

“When we look specifically at the global population of new CFP professionals who became certified in 2022, the percentage of females was 46 per cent.”

He said this signifies a healthy future of growth in the population of CFP professionals towards gender parity.

“On a global level, a key long-term strategic priority of FPSB is to continue to grow the number of CFP professionals and this includes improving the diversity of CFP professionals to reflect the public they serve,” he said.

However, the degree of focus on gender diversity differed on a territory-by-territory basis, he said.

Only 22 per cent, or 3384, advisers in Australia are women, falling slightly from previous years, according to researcher Wealth Data.

While female provisional advisers were 35 per cent of the total, the numbers weren’t strong enough to move closer to balance once they reach accreditation, said Wealth Data director Colin Williams.

“What might make a significant difference is the introduction of the new ‘qualified advisers’ who will be linked to super funds and banks,’’ he said, referring to the government’s proposed reforms to allow institutions like super funds to introduce a new breed of restricted adviser giving limited advice.

“These will be salaried and based upon the past, females will make a greater representation.”

Australia’s Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, set up by the Federal Government in 2022 to improve women’s financial security, recommends banks and financial services to develop products and services specifically for the needs of women.

According to US magazine Financial Advisor, whether female clients want female advisers is still being debated. A 2020 Spectrum study showed that 89 per cent of women and 88 per cent of men did not care about the gender of their adviser.

Super Fierce founder and chief executive Trenna Probert, whose fintech encourages women to get a better deal on their super by analysing more than 2000 investment options across hundreds of funds aimed at improving superannuation balances at retirement.

She said some female advisers have left the industry to become wealth and money coaches which was a rapidly growing area, but the need for diversity in advice was clear.

“Something that I noticed that was common when I was working in private banking and consulting to family offices was that when I would have conversations offline with some of these women… the response was often that they were not engaging with the advisers because they didn’t feel heard, the language that was being used wasn’t inclusive for them,” she said.

Probert said she knew one female adviser who had an amazing portfolio of clients, including men, who came to her because she “listens to them in a different way, they feel more able to ask questions and not know the answer”.

“The key point there is it’s not actually about: ‘do we need more women?’, it’s the value in having different types of personalities, perspectives and approaches in the industry and, given that humans societies of multifaceted, it just seems like a no-brainer that diversity is a good thing for wealth creation.’’

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