Why gender diversity works

Submitted by kristin.mccasland on November 6, 2019

I love what I'm doing. I think this is probably the best career on the planet because we get to make a difference in people's lives. I think this is a great career path for women for several reasons. First of all, it's our core skill sets. Women tend to be more empathetic. They tend to be very good listeners. And that is the key to understanding what's unique about an individual or their family.

It's an industry where we're dealing with people. And I often say to young female advisors, “If you're open and you're vulnerable and you're really getting to know your clients on a personal level, they can be amazing both clients and friends.” And it's not just about women as advisors, but also giving the men the ability to be more vulnerable and being able for them to have the flexibility they need. I think it's important that it's the culture of the whole firm. When I look at the success in our firm, we have a phenomenal team of both men and women committed to doing the right thing for the families that we serve. 

So, one of the things that we require of our relationship managers is that we go in with a male-female team. And it's really a benefit to the clients, number one; but also, to make sure that we have the right skill set in the room. Some women actually prefer to work with men. Some men prefer to work with women. But you won't know that until you walk in with a diverse team and see the interplay that goes on. When you have more than one person in the room, it just becomes a richer dialog around the family, a richer dialog around life experiences. 

There are several things that both Luma and Fairport are doing to attract more diverse culture. One is clearly when you have people at the top who get it in terms of work-life balance, then that permeates the culture. But in addition to that, we have really been out visible in the community, talking about what a great career this is, and also that we do give flexibility to our employees so that they can get the job done in a way that works for them and their family. 

I think the most important thing I'd want somebody to know that's thinking about moving into the RIA space is that it's not even so much about the demographics of the client, but it's about the psychographics. And more and more of these clients value advice over product. So, it's a great business to be in because you're having those dialogs around values, around gratitude, around family, and community. I have really focused on doing the right thing for the clients, and doing the right thing for my firm, and expecting that the financial rewards will follow. And quite frankly, they have.

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