7 Things Women Must Know to Advance Their Careers in Financial Services 

  • Published on:
    March 3, 2021
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes
7 Things Women Must Know to Advance Their Careers in Financial Services  womenontopp.com women on Topp

Growing up, a lot of women are discouraged from pursuing a career path in finance. Stereotypes like “girls are poor at Math” play a huge role in social conditioning at an early age. But things have shifted over the last 10 years in the male-dominated financial services industry.

According to research by Catalyst, women professionals made up 54.3% of the financial industry in the United States, even though only 26% occupied positions on executive committees.

Industry biases, lack of training, and fewer opportunities are some of the barriers to gender equality within finance. But with access to the right resources and a clear plan of action, women are shifting the narrative every day. Here are 7 steps to get closer to your career and entrepreneurship goals.   

1. Understand the industry 

The industry is diverse but can be segregated into many service providers such as commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, wealth management planning firms, and CPA firms.

These service providers support many private institutions and individual consumers and play a key role in the success of any economy. You can explore a wide range of career paths by becoming accountants and auditors, financial managers, financial analysts, and personal financial advisors, to name a few. 

2. Outline your goals 

Understanding your goals will help you build the trajectory to your dream job. You may want to help create more wealth for the wealthy. Alternatively, you may want to follow in the footsteps of the infamous Suze Orman, who dedicated her career to supporting the little guy in building a safe, secure life.

Entrepreneurship is also a goal of many women today. You can launch a fintech business, a personal finance advisory, or your own accountancy practice. Another emerging goal is to build financial literacy by delivering consumable educational programs. This is a growing role that many women in finance are playing. 

3. Grow your skills

Finance is a profession that requires some degree of education to build credibility and trust in your preferred job role. For example, if you want to be an accountant, you will need to pursue an undergrad accounting degree. If you want to be an investment banker, an MBA in investment banking can bring you closer to your goal.

Additional certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Certified Financial Planner, Financial Risk Manager (FRM), and Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) can help you further raise your equity and grow your skills and knowledge base. Preparing for certification programs may seem challenging, but nowadays, plenty of reliable resources are available to make studying easier and more efficient. For example, you can use free SIE exam flashcards for SIE exam preparation, which can reduce your study time while helping you get fully prepared. These flashcards can help you to understand key concepts and test your knowledge, allowing you to study the material more quickly and effectively. 

You can also explore platforms like “Girls Who Invest” that enable more women to enter the asset management industry. 

4. Find a mentor

It’s a known fact that mentorship has an impact on the success journeys of women. These days, many women are open to serving as mentors to younger women or aspirants of any age. Leverage this practice to reach out, connect and seek the guidance you need.

You can have many mentors to support you in different aspects of your career journey. For instance, mentorship is a great way to access important nuggets around leadership and plan your future in the C-suite!

5. Stand up for equal pay 

Unequal pay is a major barrier inhibiting gender equality in the finance industry. A report by the ADP Research Institute shows that the gender pay gap is the second largest in the finance sector.  While many organizations aim to close the wage gap, there’s a chance you are being paid less than you deserve. Negotiating for equal pay starts you off on the right payscale, allowing you to grow your earnings as you rise on the career ladder. 

6. Network with other women in finance

The best thing about being a woman in finance today is that you are never alone! Over the last 10 years, several professional networks have emerged. By joining these networks, you can access connections, career advice, resources, and networking opportunities. You also have a large group of women who will cheer you on during both successes and setbacks!

7. Invest in personal branding

Leveraging social media to grow your online identity and personal branding is a great investment in your career. Finance is a dynamic field with laws, rules, and dynamics that are constantly evolving. Regularly posting your opinions, sharing expertise, and speaking at various forums helps grow your visibility.

You can also network with potential recruiters, clients, and employees if you’re an entrepreneur. Hosting your own independent website with your information, testimonials, and blogs helps further cement trust and credibility. 

In closing: be fearless!

Taking the first step in a new journey is always a difficult one. But the financial services industry is a lucrative one for women. It offers high commissions, opportunities for fast growth, and rewarding challenges.

In 2020, the total number of women Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) with Fortune 500 companies grew to 90. As more women receive mentorship and access to opportunities, this number will increase even further. Who knows, someday you may be one of them!

7 Things Women Must Know to Advance Their Careers in Financial Services 

Judy Fitzgerald

Judy Fitzgerald is an accountant in North Carolina. After spending some time in public accounting and then consulting, she noticed how financially illiterate people were. Hence, she started writing about crunching numbers and the performance of financial markets in order to educate people that need help.

You might also enjoy..

7 Ways to Attract Top Talent to Your Company

7 Ways to Attract Top Talent to Your Company

The business landscape is defined by innovation and flexibility. This fully applies to the field of recruiting. To find those who can bring unique skills and passion for excellence to the company and drive a company's growth and success, organizations should go further than offering competitive salaries. Instead, they should create an appealing wor
5 Skills That Will Transform Your Career
by Sheinna Mungroo

5 Skills That Will Transform Your Career

It is so easy to be consumed by your career. We are often so focused on all the milestones and accomplishments that we have yet to achieve that we forget about all those key skills we need in order to get there. So, what are they? What do we want to achieve? Do we have the necessary skills and mind-set to get there?
Powerful Words To Get People's Attention Immediately

Powerful Words To Get People’s Attention Immediately

Words to get people's attention. We all want what we want, but it's always difficult to figure out how to get it. The right words help you express the function of your product or service with flair. They add color and drama to your presentation to make it more interesting. Try to use words that evoke emotions and vivid mental pictures. Let your pro
Signs You Need To Quit Your Job

Signs You Need To Quit Your Job

In the ever-evolving landscape of our professional lives, it's not uncommon to find ourselves at a crossroads, contemplating whether the path we're on is truly the right one. Job satisfaction and personal growth are not merely luxuries; they are integral components of a fulfilling career. Are you currently facing uncertainty about your current job?

Join the discussion!

2 thoughts on “7 Things Women Must Know to Advance Their Careers in Financial Services 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *