All Career Insights

Why women in financial services?

Letter by Diane Yohn, CLU®, RHU, FLMI, CLF®, Chief Operating Officer at North Star Resource Group

I don’t assume I can change your opinion of women in this industry by presenting an article or citing statistics.

In fact, I dislike generalizations that “Female financial professionals are—fill in the blank—better listeners, more supportive, more positive, etc.”

Of all the female financial advisors I’ve worked with, each one’s practice and approach differs as much as any male advisor’s practice may, and every professional attracts different types of clients.

Some clients like a very detailed representative who shares with them a 12-page analysis. Other clients like financial professionals who build rapport and trust. Still others want to turn all the buying decisions over to someone with a designation.

There is room in the industry for a variety of financial professionals with different approaches, and we are better positioned for growth as an industry if we attract and retain a broader spectrum of clients.

So, why women?

Financial services are a profession where we help people—all kinds of people. When we diversify our firms and practices, our clients win.

Why women are a natural fit at North Star >

Diane is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc.

Ann Wengronowitz, CFP®
Senior Financial Planner and Co-Founder of Confidere Financial

Why do you think we need more women working as financial professionals?
This is a tough career. To be successful, you must think like an entrepreneur and be goals-driven, a good listener, patient, open to new and different ideas, willing to take the good and the bad, and most importantly, willing to work hard.

This is a career that has been male-driven since the beginning. I am excited to see more and more women break through and take leadership roles. Over 51% (Statista, 2020) of the world population is female, yet less than 30% of financial professionals today are women (U.S. Census Buruea, 2018). It is time for a change.

How has North Star helped you grow as an advisor?
The leadership at NS has allowed me to grow my practice the way I wanted to. During the years when my kids were young, I was quite involved at their schools. I worked fewer hours but continued to grow my practice.

North Star supported me during my tenure as President of PRG and now as President of WISE (Women Inspiring and Supporting Excellence). I appreciate the help and support they have and continue to give me.

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Ann is an investment advisor representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.

Stephanie Tsang, CFP®, ChFC, CEPA
Partner and Financial Advisor at North Star – Scottsdale

Why are you an advisor? What motivated you to join this industry?
Growing up, my parents were never good at managing their own money. I saw how hard my mom worked to be able to provide for my brother and me when my parents divorced. I knew I wanted to find a career that would help others find financial stability, and I thought being a CPA would provide that but realized early on that being a financial advisor would provide me with client relationship I was looking for as well as the opportunity to have more financial control for myself.

What should women look for in a firm where they can thrive?
Women interested in financial services should look for a firm that has both women and men in leadership and a strong collaborative culture. A firm that is going to support what you want your practice to look and helps you grow toward that.

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Stephanie is an investment advisor representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.

Kristin Brandli Printon, AIF®
Senior Partner and Wealth Advisor at Moxie Wealth Management

What advice would you give to other women in finance?
Trust yourself and your voice. We are in the minority, but that doesn’t mean we should shrink ourselves. It’s okay to disrupt the norm, design a practice that fits YOU, and use your position to lift up other women around you.

Any short stories about being a woman in this industry that have encouraged you?
Very often in joint meetings, the wife of a client will look to me for explanation or comfort in knowing that another woman is not only in the room but also here to make sure her voice gets heard amongst the men.

I have received multiple messages from the husbands appreciating that their wife is more engaged in the process now that I’m involved or from the wives appreciating a female planner’s perspective. It’s a reminder that men often assume the husband is the primary decision-maker, and women can become forgotten about in the planning process.

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Kristin is an investment advisor representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.

Jenna Siverson, CFP®
Financial Advisor at North Star – Minneapolis

Why do you think we need more women working as financial professionals?
Since the ultimate goal is to help clients achieve financial success, if a client feels more comfortable working with a woman, then there needs to be a woman with whom they can connect.

What advice would you give to other women in finance?
Embrace your differences. Men and women often have different goals—both personally and professionally. It’s okay to operate differently than your male colleagues. Rather than trying to compete with or imitate your male counterparts, have confidence in what makes you different and use it to your advantage to help as many people as possible.

Follow Jenna on LinkedIn >

Jenna is an investment advisor representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.

Interested in starting your career at North Star?

Whether you’re already an experienced financial professional, or just looking into the career, North Star Resource Group helps women build an impactful career.

At North Star, you don’t have to do it alone. We foster a collaborative, supportive environment through WISE – Women Inspiring & Supporting Excellence. This national network of women financial professionals who empower each other through mentoring, education, career planning, networking, and idea-sharing.