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‘The Crucial Role of Women in Private Client Industry Growth’ by Alex Gibson-Watt published in IFA Magazine

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was to ‘inspire inclusion.’

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, as an industry we are increasingly realising the significance of diversity and inclusivity, with a particular emphasis on recognising the pivotal role that women play in driving business growth. Beyond the moral imperative, there are compelling reasons why acknowledging and empowering women in the private client sector is not just an option but a strategic necessity.

In the UK, women account for over half of the entry-level workforce in financial services. They have reached the highest levels within companies, and their numbers at the top continue to grow, albeit slowly. Despite this progress, women still represent fewer than one in five positions in the financial services C-suite. There is much work to be done to achieve gender parity in the financial services sector. We must do more to advocate for women at a senior level and recognise the contribution that they make.

To provide more clarity here are a few of my thoughts on why this is so crucial;

– Women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and insights to the table. Recognising and incorporating these diverse viewpoints can lead to more innovative solutions and strategies within the private client industry. Whether in wealth management, financial planning, or advisory roles, the inclusion of women fosters creativity and a broader understanding of client needs.

– Women constitute a significant portion of the private client base. Acknowledging and valuing the role of women within the industry can enhance the ability to understand and address the unique financial goals and challenges faced by female clients. As a business we see increasing amounts of independent, female clients who feel reassured by a strong female advisory team.

– Building strong client relationships is at the core of the private client industry. Women often excel in communication, empathy, and relationship building skills. Recognising and nurturing these skills can lead to stronger client connections, increased trust, and ultimately, improved client satisfaction.

– Creating an inclusive work environment that values the contributions of women is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. A diverse workforce, including women in leadership roles, sends a positive message about the company culture.

– Diversity in decision making processes is associated with risk mitigation. Women’s perspectives and risk management approaches can add an extra layer of resilience to the private client industry.

In the private client industry, acknowledging the crucial role that women play is not just about equality; it’s a strategic imperative for sustainable growth and success. By fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, businesses can tap into a wealth of talent, perspectives, and skills that contribute to innovation, client satisfaction, and overall industry resilience.

It’s time for the private client industry to recognise, celebrate, and actively support the women driving its growth.

Author: Alex Gibson-Watt, Managing Director at John Lamb Hill Oldridge

Article published in IFA Magazine in March 2024.

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