Neela Hummel, an unpaid intern at Abacus Wealth Partners in 2009, has come a long way. Today, she and Beth Storjohann serve as co-CEOs of the $3 billion Santa Monica-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). What’s more, Abacus demonstrates its commitment to gender equity by supporting and promoting women, both as employees and clients.
Hummel acknowledges that the financial industry has historically been dominated by men, with only 18% of advisors being women. However, she highlights a major shift on the horizon – women are set to control two-thirds of U.S. wealth in the near future. This reality urges the industry to adapt and evolve to better serve its changing client demographics. Unfortunately, Hummel believes that the industry has not done enough to keep up with this changing landscape.
Embracing Change for Success
Abacus Wealth Partners recognizes the importance of staying current in the fast-changing financial environment. The company understands that the involvement of women in decision-making processes can lead to incredible outcomes. With Hummel as their first female partner, Abacus now boasts 24 partners – half of whom are women. Hummel firmly believes that having more women in control of financial decisions is a catalyst for positive change.
To support this notion, Abacus implements flexible policies, creates career paths, and fosters leadership transparency. By doing so, the company ensures that the next generation of women is provided with opportunities for growth and development within the firm.
Addressing Industry Challenges
Hummel emphasizes the need for advisors to adapt intelligently to the evolving landscape of increasing female wealth. As clients change and their preferences shift, the industry must be prepared to meet these new demands. Hummel suggests that there is room for improvement in how the industry supports and serves women as clients.
The financial industry must be proactive in recognizing and addressing the unique needs and perspectives of women. By doing so, it will not only keep up with the changing dynamics but also tap into a vast market of potential clients.
In conclusion, Abacus Wealth Partners serves as a shining example of an organization that champions gender equity in the financial industry. With the significant wealth transfer on the horizon, the industry as a whole must embrace change and adapt to better serve its evolving clientele. Empowering women in finance is not only the right thing to do but also a smart business strategy for long-term success.
Listen to Neela Hummel’s thoughts on navigating this dynamic landscape on The Way Forward podcast.
The Importance of Transparency
Transparency plays a crucial role in hiring, retaining, and nurturing female and diverse candidates. It serves as a valuable tool in closing the gender pay gap and addressing the more pervasive issue of the gender and racial wealth gap.
Creating a Compelling Employee Value Proposition
To attract women to your firm, it is essential to develop a compelling employee value proposition. What sets your company apart? How will you support and empower your employees in addition to meeting your business needs? These are the questions you should address to make your organization an attractive choice for talented women.
Mastering the Art of Asking Better Questions
Advisors seeking to cater to different types of female investors must improve their ability to ask insightful questions. Instead of solely focusing on financial aspects, probing into matters of purpose, meaning, and values can enable a deeper understanding. By using investments as a tool and aligning them with individual values, advisors can provide more effective financial solutions.
Recognizing What Women Truly Value
It is important to debunk the stereotype that women are inherently risk-averse. Rather, they are more risk aware, making conscious and calculated decisions. When women have control over their finances, they prioritize spending on their children, engaging in philanthropy, and investing in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.
Remember, fostering an environment of transparency and addressing the unique needs and aspirations of women can help your firm stand out as a desirable workplace for talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.