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Tackling the financial gender advice gap

Equality is a crucial element within business and life as a whole. However, for too long the financial services industry has carried a marked gender advice gap. Things, though, are changing. Here, Ian Wilkinson, Perspective (North East) managing director, looks at the historic factors behind the divide and highlights how the Chartered financial advisory firm is helping deliver transformation.

We’ve seen significant improvements in equality, specifically around the gender gap, across various areas of life and business.

However, while progress has been made, the gender financial advice gap is an area in which the financial services industry needs to improve.

Without looking into this subject in more detail, you may assume there aren’t any barriers or stereotypes to impact the provision of financial advice.

Unfortunately, while there are exceptions to the rule, it would be wrong to assume men and women receive the same level of attention.


  • Ian Wilkinson, Perspective (North East) managing director


Recent acquisition

We have invested significant capital and time in this area, resulting in the recent acquisition of AYP Financial Planning, in Hexham.

Kim Alexandra initially set up the company to focus on financial planning services for women.

Its range has evolved over the 20 years since its inception, but women-focused services are still very much part of the company’s DNA, which continues to be a high-growth area of the financial services industry.

Background to the gender advice gap

Statistics suggest women will account for 60 per cent of UK wealth by 2025, a trend expected to continue into the next decade.

Similarly, research also shows women across all wealth brackets will inherit 70 per cent of global wealth over the next two generations.

There are numerous factors contributing to this trend in the UK, which include more women entrepreneurs, improvements to the gender pay gap, longer life expectancy and an increased boardroom presence.

Financial advice for women

At the moment, the top five financial advice sources for women are family, money advice websites, financial planners, friends and colleagues, and Government websites and helplines.

That family advice ranks above support provided by financial planners is an obvious concern.

However, considering only seven per cent of wealth managers have specific marketing strategies to retain, attract and advise female clients, this puts the situation into perspective.

Recent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) data also shows women made up just 17 per cent of all FCA- approved professionals.

What are the factors influencing the gender advice gap?

It would be easy to assume a relatively low number of women financial advisers is impacting the gender advice gap.

However, a recent survey from Schroders shows 76 per cent of women have no particular preference for the gender of their financial planner.

Conversely, the main factors under consideration were trust, experience and value for money.

Growing demand for female financial planning

While looking at reasons for the gender advice gap, it’s crucial to appreciate the growing demand for financial advice from women.

There are many different factors to consider, with different requirements and investment strategies for men and women. They include:

Healthcare costs

Due to extended life expectancy, more women will require healthcare funding in the future. This should be an integral part of financial planning.

Family first

Trends also suggest women are more likely to pass on wealth in their lifetime, keen to assist their wider family as early as possible. Those unable to find a suitable financial planner may suffer undue tax consequences and see a significant reduction in net distributions to beneficiaries.

Sustainable investment

This is more prevalent among women than men, with feedback suggesting women are prepared to increase their investment if the outcome is aligned with their values.

The main concern for financial planners

Research by Schroders shows a staggering 70 per cent of women change their financial planner within 12 months of their partner passing.

This suggests several potential issues, including men dominating the relationship with their financial planner and a lack of trust between the surviving partner and their historic planner.

Looking to the future

As a client-centric financial planner, we seek to provide equal and fair financial advice and guidance to everyone.

Recently, after identifying industry issues with financial planning for women, we have invested significant time and money into this area.

Men and women have similar needs regarding financial planning, but there are variations in topics.

Thankfully, the financial services industry is actively embracing equality and diversity.


Pictured left, from left to right, are Suzanne Gould; Kim Alexandra, AYP Financial Planning founder; Ian Wilkinson, Perspective (North East) managing director; and Chartered financial planner Sarah Chandler.

This article was collated using information from the Financial Times, FT Adviser, Schroders, Hargreaves Lansdown, Money Marketing, Business Sale Report, Penfold, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Canada Life. 



March 6, 2024

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Created by North East Times