Saran Allott-Davey, winner of the Women's IFA Group Award 2004, says the women-only intermediary award showcases financial planning as an excellent career.
The merit of this award for women is that it tells the public here are a bunch of women who are enjoying varied, successful careers having come from a variety of backgrounds. They also have time to bring up children, do voluntary work, have sporting interests and basically have a life outside work.
This encourages more people to view financial planning as a good career choice, and also provides some high profile good press about the quality of financial advice available, and that is good news for all of us.
I feel privileged to have always enjoyed a good level of equality in my life, so do not feel the award is important because of any feminist or anti-male views.
However, I believe it is brilliant as a showcase for talent in the industry and to promote financial planning as an excellent career for women. The fact that over 95% of advisers are male means they presumably already realise it’s a good career choice. The female angle gives the story legs and gets it into the consumer press.
All four finalists hold the Certified Financial Planner licence and the award has been great for bringing the importance of qualifications and planning home to consumers.
The Mail on Sunday carried this message brilliantly and provided some really positive news and support for male and female advisers who believe in qualifications and financial planning.
The award process is a steep learning curve and I am sure anyone who entered will have gained something from the experience. Being runner-up two years ago focused my mind on several areas in my life that needed improving and helped me identify them and make the changes.
The existence of this award hurts no-one and benefits many - lets just applaud it for that.
Allott-Davey's comments are made in response to last week's IFAonline editorial - Do we still need to make a distinction between the work of men and women IFAs?
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