Financial Changemakers – Talking Gender With Anna Sofat

This is about episode two of a new podcast series I’m creating with my co-host Olivia Parnell. The podcast is all about creating a safe place for discussion amongst changemakers and encouraging you our listener to join in and become a changemaker yourself.

In episode one, we met with Rohan Sivajoti, Director & Head of Innovation at NextGen Planners and Amira Norris, Head of account management, Nucleus Financial Group. Now we are talking gender diversity in the Financial Services Profession with Anna Sofat.

A passionate advocate and tireless campaigner, we cover lots of ground with Anna, especially how we can encourage more women into financial planning roles and retain more women in the profession. The stats are disappointing! Currently, according to data from 2020, only 15 – 17 per cent of Financial Advisors are women. What’s particularly disappointing is that this figure hasn’t shifted significantly in the last 10 years. Something must be done.

Anna Sofat, Associate Director
Progeny Wealth

Stats also show that women, 50% of the population, will control more than 60% of wealth in the next five years. If the profession wants that wealth to manage, women need to be better represented in the profession.

Anna describes her view of the ‘sticky-middle’. Where middle management culture quite often requires careful navigation and sometimes forces women to sacrifice their own values. Sadly, so often, when this becomes too difficult, we see women choosing to ‘opt-out’ of the profession.

Our conversation turns to culture and how, in an industry which was originally designed for men, by men, a cultural shift is needed. To do this the change needs to come from Senior Management – leading behavioural change – to drive forward cultural change.

Anna believes that only by measuring progress, having good data, and holding businesses accountable, can a real shift and change happen. Anna even indicates that firms should be held accountable for our diversity levels by the regulator!  

The episode is full of really good ideas for businesses to think about getting gender diversity front and centre stage and how important it is for the future of advice and any successful business.

In this podcast series, we are keen to discover little take-aways that can help people to make small changes, that eventually will become much larger changes for our community and profession … our takeaway this episode is:

As individuals, within a team in a business, do not hide, do not follow the heard. If something is wrong, speak up. Be positive about what can be done to make change. If we all commit to change, and make small changes, we can create a ripple, and hopefully the ripples will create waves.

Financial Changemakers Podcast – Episode Two – Key Takeaway

Listen to the Financial Changemakers Podcast, Episode Two with Anna Soffat
Listen to the Financial Changemakers Podcast, Episode One with Rohan Sivajoti of NextGen Planners and Amira Norris of Nucleus.