The 4th of July holiday is right around the corner! This got me thinking about how far our country has progressed regarding women’s rights and equality in the workplace, specifically in the financial world. Also, it’s swimsuit season, whether I’m ready for it or not!
Thanks to the freedom we enjoy in America, I am able to work at Verity Credit Union as the Investment Assistant to Gavin Chinn and Ken Butler. When I was hired in September 2013, one of the stipulations was that I had to pass my FINRA Series 7 exam within 6 months. The Series 7 is the test you need to pass in order to be a licensed securities representative. It is one of the hardest tests in the finance industry. Thankfully, after months of cramming and two possible mental breakdowns I passed that exam.
Being new to the industry I started to wonder how many other women shared this honorable title with me. I found the answer to my question, but it was disturbing and unsatisfying. According to a study done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, women make up only 25.7% of personal financial advisors*. Why is this you ask? The answer is still not clear, but I have cultivated a theory of my own. Many women, much like myself, have a preconceived notion that financial advisors are much like those in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Overworked car salesMEN that are ridiculously good at math and have little or no time for a family. But, as I progress in the financial industry, I am quickly learning that this is not the case at all. The core of financial advising is fostering relationships and building trust with your clients. Yes, there is math and sales involved, but that is not the foundation on which you need to succeed. Most women innately have the drive and ability to create these relationships, but sadly I think we lack the tenacity to compete with the boys. And it is not because our gender counterparts are pushing us out, but because we are afraid to be the example of women that fail. It is tremendously intimidating to step into a career made up of mostly men. But lets be honest with ourselves, if you’re passionate about it and work hard, failure doesn’t have to be an option.
So why is it important to add women financial advisors to the mix? Research has shown that mens’ and womens’ brains work very differently, and in turn, complement each other greatly. That diversification is a great advantage to have for current and potential clients. And just as an added bonus, financial advising is one of the few careers that does not have a gender pay gap. Compensation is based off of the revenues you generate regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman.
Okay ladies, so I know that financial advising is not a career path for everyone. Regardless of the career you choose, I encourage you to start investing in yourself. How you ask? Ask your Financial Advisor about investments with greater diversity in senior leadership positions or companies like Calvert Investments that support women in higher positions in the work place. Don’t have a Financial Advisor? Call me at (206) 361-5312 to set up an appointment with one of the awesome advisors here at Verity Credit Union. Stay tuned for an update on my journey into the world of financial advising. Until then, enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget the sunblock!
* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013
Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
Bre joined Verity Credit Union in September 2013 as the Investment Assistant to Ken Butler and Gavin Chinn. She attended Central Washington University, where she studied Clinical Physiology, Facility Management and Economics.
“I have always had an interest in learning more about the financial world. I am excited to take my education and marketing experience to grow our investment department and serve our credit union members.”
When Bre is not working she enjoys time with family and friends; she loves running, Mexican food and spotting at auctions.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill
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