28 February 2019
If you’re covering International Women’s Day please see the following comments from women across Quilter.
Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director on creating a balanced workforce in financial services:
“The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, #BalanceforBetter, is a call-to-action that financial services would do well to take on-board. Because when it comes to gender balance the financial services sector is still looking like a seesaw, with a vastly unequal split between men and women, particularly in senior roles.
“Having a balanced workforce, particularly at the senior level, can mitigate groupthink thereby helping firms make better decisions by drawing in diverse perspectives. We are seeing a step-change in business with a clear realisation that companies that fail to fully benefit from the talents of both genders won’t flourish in the future.”
Alix Ainsley and Charlotte Cherry, directors of talent and culture on flexible working:
“It’s hugely important that companies walk the talk on thinking innovatively to remove the barriers that prevent people – typically women – progressing to senior roles. Culture is central to this as it requires a degree of open-mindedness and for leadership to say it is ok. A boss will largely determine whether a job share will succeed or fail.
“More businesses are realising that this is a great way to attract and retain the best people.
“We have been in a job share since 2013 which we have taken through multiple career and organisation moves. In that time it’s really encouraging that the conversation has moved on from why people need to work flexibly to how businesses are going to make it work.”
Helen Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Quilter Investors on female fund mangers:
“Like many sectors, the investment industry does not have a great track record for promoting diversity, but that is changing. I think one of the big challenges for young women coming into the industry in the past was the lack of credible role models. Most of the big name fund managers that come to mind are men. But where female portfolio managers have come to the fore in senior roles over the past decade I think that has given other women the confidence to aspire to more themselves.
“Attitudes have also shifted over time. One of the first bits of advice I received from a colleague was to be careful that as a junior investment assistant I wasn’t dismissed as a secretary ‘because I was a woman’. That was valuable advice at the time because I think that danger of being overlooked was a reality, and my colleague was genuinely trying to ensure I didn’t get brushed aside. But when I look back it seems almost unbelievable that it needed saying at all. I think attitudes have transformed and that the onus is no longer on women to work harder to avoid being overlooked, but on companies and management to ensure that they foster an environment that evaluates everyone on merit.”
Sarah Waring, client and proposition director at Quilter Private Client Advisers on encouraging more women into financial advice:
“The number of female financial advisers is woeful, with some putting estimates as low as 16%. In 2019 one would expect that as an industry we are much further along, however striking a balance of male and female advisers still seems a long way off. This is why the Quilter Financial Adviser School is committed to bringing more women into the industry. While we’re proud that 31% of learners are female we still are trying to shift the dial so it’s equal.
“That gap in female financial advisers has a noticeable knock on impact to the perception of the industry as there are less women getting advice and some find financial services in general hostilely male. As an industry we’re not blind to the issue and several firms and companies have pegged their colours to the mast and said they will do more to address the gender gap in advisers and clients. However, pace does need to quicken. All advisers and firms need to be reviewing their processes and styles of communicating to ensure they aren’t inadvertently putting off half the population.”
Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert on tax issues impacting women:
“Social norms continue to dictate that women often become the primary care giver when a couple has children. One of the ramifications of this is that women suffer a ‘motherhood penalty’, which could result in a reduced pension pot or being left under-protected and financially exposed. It is therefore critical that a financial plan is put in place to moderate these risks.
“If a mother decides to take a career break to look after their children, they need to be aware that unless they claim child benefit they could end up missing out on National Insurance credits. Failing to get these credits could damage the size of their state pension pot. Similarly, women’s pension pots can end up being smaller than their male counterparts due to a career break, so it is important to try to continue to "contribute to a pension even if they don’t have a regular income and this extra cost should be factored into a financial plan. According to our research, men on average are saving almost double what women are each month towards their retirement (£301 vs £171 respectively).
“Career breaks can also make mothers more likely to find themselves without a protection product in place such as life assurance, critical illness or income protection as these products can be included as a workplace benefit. Without protection place, if the worst was to happen it could leave a family in a very difficult financial position.
“If a family has young children, who require extra care, it is important that both the primary earner and the primary carer are both financially protected. If the primary carer falls ill or passes away the other member of the couple will need to revaluate their working hours or pay for extra support to cope with the increased responsibility. Having protection in place is even more crucial for a single parent whose children are totally dependent on their income. While both points apply equally to both genders, it disproportionately impacts women who typically take on the burden of childcare.”
Claudia Quiroz, lead investment manager for Quilter Cheviot’s Sustainable Investment Strategy on socially conscious female investors:
“The continuing programme of UN-led climate change discussions has focused attention on the need for the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources. As work to meet these global objectives gains greater momentum, sustainable investment has also gained a greater profile among investors. This is particularly the case amongst socially conscious female investors.
“We are now seeing increasing numbers of women making investment choices that have a clear and measurable positive impact on society as well as generating profits. This increase in awareness is having a significant impact on other investors and the asset management industry, with greater products now out there for the socially conscious investor.”
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Notes to Editors:
About Quilter plc:
Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.
Quilter plc oversees £118.7 billion in investments (as at 30 September 2019).
It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.
The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.
Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.
Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.
The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded as follows:
- Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
- Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
- Charles Derby Group (becoming Quilter Financial Advisers)
- Quilter Financial Adviser School
- Quilter Cheviot
- Quilter Investors
- Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
- Old Mutual International (becoming Quilter International in 2020)
This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.
Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.
This communication is issued by Quilter plc. Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270. Registered in England.