Financial Women’s Association on Employment Report & Intel’s $300 Million Diversity Move


January 9, 2015

Financial Women’s Association on Employment Report & Intel’s $300 Million Diversity Move
Recognizes Need for More STEM Education in Financial Industry

The Financial Women’s Association’s (FWA) executive director and president are available to comment on Friday’s release of the Department of Labor jobs data and Intel’s announcement on Tuesday to invest $300 million in workforce diversity efforts over five years.

FWA Executive Director Jennifer Openshaw notes the following:

On the Jobs Picture

Women continue to lag behind men in both numbers and salaries overall, with a few bright spots in certain job categories.

  • Women accounted for 66 percent of the jobs in banking and related activities (172,000 women in a field that employs 262,000) (Department of Labor’s most recent data from 2013).
  • However, women’s presence in the securities-related fields is much smaller, accounting for just 37 percent of jobs in this sector (424,000 out of 1.2 million employees).
  • Women advisors earn just 58 cents on the dollar compared to their male peers, costing each woman an average of $1.25 million over the course of a 35-year career, according to DOL data cited in Forbes.

Compensation continues to be a top issue, both because of the continuing wage gap between men and women, and because of women’s longer life spans.

  • Female financial advisors earned less than male peers in 2013, with a median annual salary of $59,748 compared with $81,380 for men (BLS).Women’s growth in the financial advisory space is at odds with the tremendous transfer of wealth taking place chiefly in the hands of women, given their longer life spans.
  • The reduced presence of women in the financial advisory space is reinforced by data from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which reports that just 23 percent of certified planners are women. And just 11 percent of women were financial advisors in 2013, according to Cerulli, up from 7.9 percent in 2012.
  • If firms want advisors and professionals who truly understand the needs of their clients, it behooves them to increase the number of female advisors. Clients want transparency, education, and a relationship.

    Both large and small firms need to understand the issues preventing women from advancing and creating a culture conducive to success for women.

  • Among the reasons for the underrepresentation cited in the CFP report are:
    Gender discrimination that can lead to women feeling unsupported and unwanted;
    Women’s reluctance to take professional risks; and
    Women’s misperceptions about the financial planning business.

On the Intel Move and Tech Jobs:

Intel’s move underscores what the FWA has heard from its corporate partners: hunger for a more diverse pipeline of candidates, including women and minorities.

Financial companies are losing qualified women to competition from major tech firms such as Google and LinkedIn.

  • One HR executive from a major Wall Street firm shared with the FWA a 40% drop in college recruits in recent years, given competition they are facing from major tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

Yet, companies are facing tremendous growth in tech jobs: Another top Wall Street firm says they have 8,000 tech jobs globally – about 25 percent of their workforce — another sign of the role technology is playing.

Today’s financial services firms are now thinking of themselves as tech firms. They need to be ready to compete with the next innovation in financial services, or risk losing customers to new and better ways of doing business.

Many tech companies — from Intel and Oracle to Microsoft and LinkedIn —service the financial industry. So they, too, can play a role in preparing women to increase the ranks not only in tech, but in the financial industry.

Increasing STEM education – with the combination of technology and math skills — can propel young women in the financial industry… from accounting and risk management to innovative services and products.

About the FWA
Founded in 1956, the FWA provides a forum to help advance the leadership of women in the financial community. The New York-based organization partners with companies to share best practices and provides opportunities for members to build their careers, meet industry leaders, earn the support of powerful women and major companies, and contribute to the next generation of female leaders. The FWA’s community activities include mentoring, scholarships, and training programs that have helped over 5,000 young people.
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Jamie Epstein, FWA
(212) 533-2141 x301

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