18%. You are probably thinking this the amount of battery your phone has. Or the interest rate your credit card is charging you  

In reality, it is the percentage of financial advisors that are women. A number that sadly hasn’t changed much over the last several years.  

A study done by Wells Fargo found that 54% of women earn more money than their partners. As we work to close the wage gap, especially at executive levels, this percentage continues to grow.  

Yet, in the financial services industry women are still holding at this 18% mark. It can be easy to say who cares? And early on in my career I thought the same thing and tried to focus on growing my wealth management practice to make sure I could remain part of that 18%. 

The last year I have been surrounded by some of the most amazing women in the financial services industry. They have been knowledgeable, caring, but most importantly supportive. In our many conversations we have all asked each other the question, “why is it important to work with female financial advisor?” 

The answer: women want to work with someone that understands them and quite frankly looks like them. Historically, that’s been the reason why men have working with male advisors. 

I spent half a decade working for one of the largest wealth management companies in the United States. It was overrun by the male dominated culture and let me tell you what a difference I saw in the way men and women females treated their clients – both in front of them and behind their backs. 

My goal when moving my practice away from that large firm was to make create a community and space where women feel comfortable and safe asking the hard questions. Often, we feel that we don’t have enough financial education and don’t know where to go to ask those questions.  

I was asked the other day, “do you work with men?” The answer is of course. I work with many couples where both the husband and wife want to be seen and treated as equals. I work tirelessly to make sure that they feel seen, heard, and know that I am their biggest (financial) cheerleader. This is an experience I know that few (if any) male advisors would give either of them.  

And that is why I will always be proud to be part of the 18%. 

Caroline Tanis