Openwork has revealed that its latest research shows advisers want immediate action on recruiting more women into the industry.
The network’s research among financial advisers found that 34% believe their firm must hire more women into both senior and junior level roles.
The nationwide study was unveiled as Openwork held its annual Women in Financial Services conference at Gibson Hall in London, which attracted a record turn-out of more than 150 female advisers and financial services professionals
Campaigner and fundraiser Claire Lomas MBE, who completed the London Marathon using a ReWalk robotic suit in 17 days, delivered the keynote speech and other speakers included Openwork executives, Claire Oldstein and Carrie Morris, as well as Dr Lynda Shaw.
The event was driven by the goals and the needs of Openwork’s female network, the desire to find role models, engage with peers and learn from each other under the theme of ‘The Power of Network’. Topics included the power of positive thinking, diversity & inclusion and ‘You’re more in control of your brain that you realise’.
Industry data shows only around 11% of all advisers are female.
Openwork’s research among consumers shows 18% of women would definitely consider a career as a financial adviser, underlining the untapped demand from women to learn more about the industry. Another 29% say they would consider a career in financial services depending on training support.
Claire Oldstein, chief marketing officer at Openwork, said: “Openwork is committed to increasing the number of women working in financial services and yesterday’s conference shows that there is a huge appetite among many women to pursue a career in financial advice. The entire event was shaped by the goals and the needs of Openwork’s female network, the desire to find role models, engage with peers and learn from each other.
“Recruiting more women is good for business as much as anything else but it is perfectly clear that the industry as a whole must do much more to tackle the recruitment issue.
“Our research shows that women are genuinely interested in pursuing a career in advice and advisers themselves would like to see female representation at their firms increase.”
So far this year 38% of Openwork recruits have been female advisers, with more than 620 now working for the organisation. Around 30% of the Executive Management team are women and the company is committed to ensuring there is a strong pipeline of future female leaders.
Openwork’s recruitment and training is also focused on closing the female adviser gap. The Openwork Academy which provides structured learning and qualification support to achieve a successful career in financial advice is working to increase the number of female advisers that pass through its doors. 32% of those that joined the Academy in 2018 were female rising to 38% in 2019.