Women in Finance: Breaking Barriers

If the financial planning industry is to be sustainable, active steps need to be taken to recruit, mentor and retain young people, people of colour and more women. While it is encouraging to see the exponential growth and change, the industry still faces many challenges, including the average age and gender of planners and the lack of diversity with regard to race.

To break some of these barriers, Kim Potgieter, Director at Chartered Wealth Solutions, founded The Women In Finance Network. The platform aimed to connect women in the financial planning industry through shared experiences, support, mentoring, learning, and networking. This network was a seed planted in the hopes of attracting and retaining women within the industry.

At the FPI 2021 Convention, Kim Potgieter will be in conversation with Gratitude Mahlangu, Esther Mabunda and Annelise Mti to discuss the challenges of bringing more women, people of colour, and youngsters into the financial planning industry. The role that Chartered Wealth Solution’s Articled Planner Programme and the Women In Finance Network played in their journeys will also be explored.

The programme was designed to produce fully qualified planners with confidence, soft skills, technical and administrative knowledge. Providing learning opportunities and a space to ask questions is key to the Articled Planner Programme. Esther Mabunda came to appreciate the saying “Indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambile”, meaning that so many colleagues (young and old) gladly stepped up to lend a hand when she asked for their help. Esther firmly believes that to navigate the financial planning landscape, it is important to remember to ask for help when you need it, as asking for help takes nothing away from an individual but instead shows a willingness to learn and grow.

The programme focuses on creating an environment where people can merge their book knowledge with practical skills. Mona Manzambi found this aspect of the programme exceptionally helpful when preparing for her board exam.

Personal development is another focus area of the Articled Planner Programme, so people are given the opportunity to attend Dare to Lead Workshops and coaching by Colleen Joy Page and develop other soft skills that enhance relationships. For Gratitude Mahlangu, this keeps her in the industry. Building relationships with the clients to create a personalised financial plan has helped her find purpose, which gets her excited about a life-long career in financial planning. For Annelise Mti, her motivation to stay in the industry is through seeing how intentional efforts can bring growth within the industry, and she is encouraged to be part of that growth and pave the way for those who come after her.

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