Yet more comments have flowed in, following last week's IFAonline editorial on the WIG dinner and the questions raised concerning gender discrimination.
Gini Bolton, financial planner at FiscalEngineers in Nottingham, says having attended the WIG dinner herself, she believes the original direction of WIG is being lost.
“I wanted to respond to your article, having felt there were very relevant points made.
”During the dinner, I felt uncomfortable with many of the comments made within the speeches, particularly those appearing to degrade our male counterparts. Although I think the concept that Fiona Price first thought of when creating WIG was relevant, it has become a cringe-making organisation that seems to think an award is granted to 'superwoman' of the year.
“Admittedly, the majority of us do carry the burden of the bulk of domestic chores but it is still possible to be and feel successful, holding down a demanding IFA job at the same time.
“I have been doing this for over 25 years and am now one of the few female directors, not of a top FTSE company but at a local building society.
“I do also know many men who are extremely competent in the kitchen and in fact love cooking, who also have serious jobs - would they get an award I wonder?”
Vivienne Starkey, director at Equal Partners, London, says she declined to be involved in the WIG Awards despite being nominated.
“I am one of the female IFAs who was nominated for the award but declined an invitation to enter and, although I am a member of WIG, I have never accepted an invitation to the dinner.
“WIG is an effective organisation which provides support, encouragement and networking opportunities for women IFAs. The meetings give us the opportunity to meet women who have succeeded in their chosen field many of which are also male dominated. They have also provided the opportunity to meet and question the regulators.
“I believe there should only be separate awards for women in areas where it is impossible for us to compete on an equal footing. Many sports require stamina and physical strength which makes it impossible for women to compete with men but others, such as Show Jumping and Eventing make no such distinction and women have proved their ability to compete on equal terms.
“Financial Services may be male-dominated however, in awards which are open to all, candidates are judged on their knowledge, skill and ability to communicate. Women can and do enter and win these awards. Undoubtedly the finalists and winner of the WIG award are talented individuals but they would do more to promote the cause of women IFAs and encourage the younger generation to take up the profession by achieving recognition within the existing framework.”
Emma Armstrong, senior associate at the iAshwood Group says she welcomes the discussion the WIG Awards has provoked about positive gender discrimination.
”I am myself a female IFA and have been for the past eight years. I was very interested to read the comments about the awards dinner - partly as I am surprised and pleased that it has generated any interest at all amongst my male counterparts!
“I have been to one local meeting of the Women's IFA Group, and I feel that the group will maintain its credibility by focussing on the positive rather than the negative distinctions of gender. There are occasions when I feel isolated from my colleagues, for example, when they go off to play golf without me. It was therefore like a breath of fresh air to go to a meeting with other female IFAs of all ages, and talk about the way that we work, sharing networking ideas with like-minded people. I see this as a positive, upbeat and useful reason to meet in that kind of forum.
“However, if the meetings become negative, focussing too much on the problems associated with being a woman in this industry and on men's faults, then the Group will lose its way as well as respect from other industry professionals.
”As ever, I hold the view that while men and women may be equal, they will never be identical - vive la difference!”
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