Industry, not female investors, needs to wise up

By Jessica Bruno | March 6, 2015 | Last updated on March 6, 2015
2 min read

International Women’s Day is March 8, and it’s an occasion we dread at the Advisor office.

We support the day’s goal – social, political and economic equality of men and women – but find ourselves enduring a tide of press releases from “experts” purporting to explain how to meet the unique needs of female investors.

Much of the so-called advice calls for women to spend less on manicures and more on managed investments. This draws attention away from systemic problems, such as the fact that women receive less pay for the same work, that truly call for different advice, as Winnipeg Free Press writer Mia Rabson reports. What’s more, research shows that women and men have similar long-term savings goals and habits.

This year we’ve gotten fewer of these paternalistic press releases, but this unfortunate attitude is still common in the financial services industry. How common? A survey by the Bank of Montreal finds more than two in three women think that men are given preferential treatment.

The study also found eight in 10 people say financial professionals assume the male client is the primary financial decision-maker in a heterosexual couple. Further, just 30% of women say they’re satisfied with the service they get from the financial services industry.

Read: Stereotypes wreck KYC

In an office full of ambitious female investors who write about finance every day, we Advisor staff can only roll our eyes. But if you treat your female clients according to stereotypes, they’ll do more than cringe – they’ll leave.

Jessica Bruno