Mixed Progress: Women CFP® Professionals Still In The Minority

It’s a case of good news, bad news.

First, the good news. Earlier this month, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) reported strong increases in the number and the diversity of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals in 2020.

The absolute number of female CFP® professionals increased to an all-time high of 20,633, reflecting growth of 3.1% since 2019, according to a CFP Board press release.

The CFP Board also reported an increase in the number of CFP® professionals of color, a key achievement as the industry works to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

Now for the not so good news. Although a record number of women earned their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification, women still make up only 23% of all CFP® professionals.

That number hasn’t budged in years.

The CFP Board is seeking to attract more women into the profession, which is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand professions in the U.S.

I’m one of the many women CFP® professionals who tout this profession as a great one for women, offering flexibility, career advancement, and job satisfaction as we help others with their most critical financial concerns.

It’s important that the financial planning profession and workforce be reflective of the clients it serves. Most people want to work with professionals who understand their needs and lifestyle, and a diverse workforce is a critical component of that.

The Takeaway: While there has been impressive growth in the number of CFP® professionals in recent years, the percentage of women has remained flat at 23 percent for at least a decade. Programs like the CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative encourage women to pursue careers in financial planning and promote the advancement of women professionals. Our continued support of those Women and Wealth initiatives and others focused on serving women can help move the needle in 2021. ❖

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