Inspiring a new generation of women
30% of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals in South Africa are now women – a record high, according to The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa. Women In Finance Network caught up with Demi White, as she graduated – second in the country – with her Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning.
How did you come to choose Financial Planning as a career?
Career uncertainty following my schooling led me to register for a general degree, in the hopes that a broader education would open up a specific direction for me.
Armed with my degree, I applied to join a financial planning academy. I recall being unsure about being admitted to the graduate programme as I was only 19 at the time! I also needed to be able to provide for myself financially, so earning an income while being trained as a financial planner was very appealing.
After a number of gruelling interviews, I was accepted and this is where my financial planning career began.
How much exposure did you have to financial planning as a career during your education?
I first encountered financial planning at the end of my first year at university when I heard about the financial planning academy. I wasn’t looking for financial planning, it found me!
Why do you think so few women have entered and are entering this profession?
Just as I was ignorant of financial planning as a career when I left school, it’s possible that many other women are not aware of the opportunity to have a career in financial planning. I do believe that awareness is increasing, though, and so more women are entering the profession.
Briefly describe your current work day. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I am currently working as a business development consultant, enabling financial planners to provide their clients with better advice.
I typically spend my day meeting with the various financial planners in my panel at their offices. I enjoy using my knowledge gained through studying and my time as a financial planner to assist the financial planners to uplift their business. I am able to be creative and entrepreneurial to come up with ideas to assist them. I also learn something new every day and every day is different; it keeps me on my toes and is very exciting.
To achieve your CFP designation, you had to work and study at the same time – how did you manage this?
I have worked and studied at the same time for the past four years. It is not easy, but with good time management and planning I could find a balance between all my responsibilities. Keeping the end goal in mind helped me to remain focused.
What would you say to young women looking at a career in financial planning?
Financial planning is hard work and high pressure, but very rewarding.
What are you looking forward to in terms of your career going forward?
I look forward to expanding my knowledge and experience to become better at what I do. I don’t know what doors will open in the future, but I know the possibilities are endless!
Tell us something about you we don’t know.
I am a perfectionist, hardworking, and goal oriented, and when I am not working you can find me on the athletics track.