As a female CEO running a business, I am proud to be part of a growing community of women who are making waves in traditionally male-dominated industries. There are now many great financial services businesses run by females with this figure growing year on year.
eParaplan is a business that supports financial advisers with a full range of services. We pride ourselves on providing expert support services to financial advisers across the country. Our team of highly skilled administrators, client servicing professionals, paraplanners and more, are trained to support financial advisers with tasks such as technical administration, platform management, investment research, report writing, and compliance. By outsourcing these tasks to us, financial advisers can focus on what they do best – providing expert advice to their clients.
With many new paraplanning type businesses starting up, we have niched our business to provide a core ‘client servicing’ support function. We still provide a full support for things like new business, but our focus is now around the customers ongoing reviews, providing the best in customer service to those existing customers but also fully onboarding new ones.
Running a business in a male-dominated industry has its challenges, but it also presents opportunities for growth and innovation. By embracing diversity and empowering women, we can build stronger, more resilient businesses that are better equipped to tackle the challenges of the future, such as the changes advisers need to consider regarding consumer duty.
At our company, we have a higher percentage of women than men. However, this balance changes throughout time. We see most men who start with us here typically go on to become advisers far quicker than the women seem to. The main reason for this is down to family commitments, where it is still very traditionally down to ‘mum’ if a child is off sick etc.
We celebrated International Women’s Day earlier this month. It’s important to reflect on the progress that has been made in promoting women in business, ensuring opportunities are available to all where possible and feasible, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done.
International Women’s Day is a great day that opens discussion about women in business. I am passionate about supporting and empowering women in the workplace. As a mother, businesswoman, wife and now nan, I understand the challenges that women face when trying to balance work and family life. That’s why I am committed to empowering women and getting messages heard, in the hope it helps others.
International Women’s Day provides a platform to highlight the achievements of women and to draw attention to the challenges they still face. This year’s theme was, “Embrace Equity”, which encourages us to embrace inclusion, fairness and diversity. Through the process of understanding equity, we can learn that people have different needs and circumstances, and therefore, may require different levels of support to achieve the same outcomes as others. Equity involves actively addressing systemic barriers and providing additional resources and support to those who need it to level the playing field.
I believe it’s my responsibility to raise awareness about the importance of equity and thus equality in the workplace. It’s not just a moral imperative – it’s also good for business. Research shows that companies with more diverse leadership teams are more innovative and perform better financially.
We also recognise that there is still work to be done. We are constantly evaluating our policies and practices to ensure that they are inclusive and equitable, and we are committed to listening to the experiences and perspectives of our female employees to help shape our approach.
At our core, we believe that equity is essential for creating a harmonious and unified environment, and for driving success for everyone involved. While equality is the ultimate goal, equity is the crucial tool we use to reach it. By prioritising equity, we can create a level playing field that enables us to achieve true equality.
Ultimately, I believe that equality is not just a women’s issue – it’s an issue that affects everyone. By working together to promote equality and inclusion in the workplace, we can create a better, more prosperous future for all.
For young women who are interested in building a strong career in financial services, I have a few pieces of advice:
- Be confident in your abilities: It can be easy to feel intimidated in a male-dominated industry, but it’s important to remember that you are just as capable and deserving of success as anyone else. Trust in your skills and don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas.
- Find a mentor: Look for someone who has experience in the industry and can provide guidance and support as you navigate your career. They can offer valuable insights and advice that can help you progress more quickly.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities: Attend industry events, join professional organisations, and connect with other women in the field. Building a strong network can help you find new opportunities, learn from others, and build your reputation.
- Invest in your education and skills: Financial services is a complex and constantly evolving field, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends. Consider pursuing additional qualifications or training to enhance your knowledge and skills.
- Be resilient: Like any career, financial services can be challenging and competitive. Don’t let setbacks or obstacles discourage you. Stay focused on your goals and be persistent in pursuing them.
Remember, building a successful career takes time and effort, but with determination and hard work, you can achieve great things in financial services.