We had a handful of differing opinions yesterday, following IFAonline's editorial on last week's WIG awards and the concept in general of gender equality in financial services.
Whether you agree or disagree with making a distinction between the work conducted by male and female IFAs, we’d still like to hear your opinion so please send any thoughts to the editor, or post your comments on either the IFAonline discussion board or inside the Coffee Lounge chat room.Jane Lennie, from H C James in Hathern, Leicestershire, says:
“As usual the concept of 'equality' has been mistaken as 'sameness'. Everyone is different - I know professionally aggressive women and professionally compassionate men - they all have their place and clients to suit.
“However, the role of women in industry and society is different to men and needs to be valued and appreciated, not politically corrected out of existence.
Tim Norrisbottom, of The Financial Planning Group in Teddington, Middlesex, continues:
“I have been an IFA for 16 years and now have the pleasure of running my own business. In all the years I have been in this industry I have never seriously conducted "networking at dinners, drinks parties, on the golf course and in pubs". Any view otherwise continues to demean the role of female.
“This is a difficult industry in which to thrive, male or female, and many people, mostly males, find themselves working in it by accident. I think this says more about the haphazard way in which the male population plan their careers than it does about any perceived sexism in the industry.
Sophie Stratton, director at Aspenden Ltd, adds:
”I too would decline any event which is targeted at women only in financial services. If women continue to single themselves out as a ‘special case’ and/or ‘different’ to their male counterparts, we are asking to be made a target group, and will continue to be the butt of the joke.
“The reality is that everyone, male or female, has different skill sets and what people should look at is the mix of skills an individual has, and what they offer, so we may all learn to respect what others bring to the party.
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