Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend, a top female executive in the financial services industry. Our conversation caused me to feel both elated and sad; elated because this bright, intelligent woman finally left the corporate world to create her own business. She now works from home and while she has a fabulous husband who has managed the family she now will be able to enjoy her family more. So why did I feel sad? My friend is a woman who came from the executive ranks of the financial services industry, now that she doesn’t have to drink the cool aide she confirmed that the challenges continue for women in the industry.
What is it about our industry, the “Good Old Boy Network” that is so resistant to incorporating the women’s strengths? Companies all over the world are recognizing that it’s not just about adding women to fill the quota that makes a difference. When companies begin to add and incorporate more of the women’s philosophy and approach to business their revenues grow tremendously. And it’s not about doing things the “Women’s” way, it’s about the blending of both the male and female approach to business, clients, life. God made men and women different for a purpose, neither better nor worse than the other, just different. Why are we so slow to recognize that it is the blending of these two styles that creates such positive change?
For women in the corporate side of the industry, change is difficult and will continue to be. I commend them for their strength, their desire to pave the way, their determination to forge ahead in hopes of improving the opportunities for women to follow, they are the true pioneers. But women who are building a financial advisory practice YOU have the opportunity to incorporate more of your strengths now with really little resistance. All you have to do is make the numbers.
As a female financial advisor you have been weaned and trained to do things the man’s way as this is what has worked for the majority of the industry (as most are men). If you truly want to succeed, if you truly want to make a difference, if you really want to make your numbers you will take from the industry what works for you and incorporate more of you into your business.
Don’t lose who you are as a woman, don’t hide what makes you strong, what makes you effective. You know when a process or business decision doesn’t feel right for you. Go with your instincts. Your instincts are a way for your heart to speak to you, LISTEN. Stop following the industry and start listening to your heart, the more women succeed the stronger voice we have. The stronger your voice the more you can support those women in management who are trying to make a difference and change this industry for the better.