Why Are Men Dominating the Financial and Estate Planning Industries?
Author: Stacy Hanley
Despite some improvement in the last few decades, financial and estate planning is still a male-dominated industry. In fact, approximately, 85% of financial planners are men.
Why is this?
Most Women Leave Financing to Their Husbands
For the most part, women’s social and professional circles are not in the financial services sector. As a result, women have smaller professional, information-sharing networks and therefore lack the necessary information to confidently make financial and estate planning decisions.
One commonality I’ve noticed is that most women don’t speak “the language” or feel they have a strong understanding of the complexities involved in these processes.
Recently, I was casually talking to a female friend about refinancing my home. I explained we were combining a fixed mortgage and equity line into a jumbo interest only arm since the interest rates are so low. A week or so later, that same friend called me up and asked for some names of financial planners. She confessed to me that she had no idea that refinancing into an interest-only payment was something you could do.
Her husband had always controlled their home financing — it was never something she had to think about. Now that she was on the precipice of a divorce, she realized she needed to understand her options quickly.
With these limited information-sharing networks and lack of financial literacy, the majority of women choose to avoid the financial and estate planning process altogether.
Women Struggle to Speak Up
Whether at the conference room table at the office or the dinner table at home, women are less likely to speak up, and when they do, they are more likely to be interrupted than men.
Even in the Supreme Court, female justices are at a disadvantage when it comes to speaking up. During oral arguments, they are disproportionately interrupted by the male justices and other male lawyers, despite the fact procedural rules prohibit a lawyer from interrupting a justice. In 2015 for example, over 65% of all interruptions during proceedings were directed at Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonya Sodemoyer, and Alana Keagan — the female justices on the bench.
To the financial and estate planners reading this article, how many times have you been in a meeting with a married couple where the wife quietly sits there politely nodding while her husband drives the conversation?
It’s imperative that women actively participate in the wealth planning process to ensure they are well taken care of down the road. In order to do that, we as advisors need to make sure that women who come to us feel comfortable in their understanding of financial processes and confident that we are listening to them when they speak because we care about their personal dreams and needs.
Estate Planning with Lefkoff-Duncan
If you’re ready to take the driver’s seat to your future, Lefkoff-Duncan is here to help. Our experienced team will assist you in all of your estate planning endeavors so that you’ll never again need to wonder if you’ve done enough to take care of the ones you love.
Contact us today to learn more.