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There's no doubt that there is a shift in terms of gradually that playing field is becoming level. Almost 50 per cent of our clients are women. And that's really unusual in wealth management. more like 25 per cent women.
Women are wealth owners, too, either sometimes through inheritance, sometimes through marriage, but also increasingly through female entrepreneurship, and that's clearly a trend which is increasing.
It is definitely changing. If you look at some of the statistics it still only represents about 10 per cent of the segment of market that we look at. But it's a growing... it's a growing segment, there's no doubt.
I don't think they necessarily want to be looked after by somebody who's just the same gender as them. Like anybody, they want to be looked after by somebody they can trust, by somebody who's not patronising.
I do think that for a female client to come into an all-male environment and find there is no one around the table that looks like them or thinks like them, that is very alienating. The most important thing as an adviser is to be able to listen and to really understand what it is that the person on the other side of the table is looking to achieve with their wealth.
I think perhaps law and accounting are a little bit ahead of the curve compared to wealth management because you have to have certain qualifications to go into those fields. Our field, you don't really. You just make your own way. And that in a funny way might actually be a barrier for women because you potentially miss out on some of the networks perhaps that the men might have.
Women have been deeply put off by a wealth management industry that was built by and made for male consumers. What I'm really pleased by is I think we're starting to see both that combination of greater financial equality, let's call it, being coupled with the fact that financial services like ours can really speak to a female audience in the same dynamic and interesting way that we would talk to a male audience.
I think that probably people would say women have a different approach to managing money and potentially are longer term the way they think about things. They're less driven by absolute return and more interested in achieving financial goals.
I do say to young women, particularly who might be thinking of joining the financial services sector, don't expect to change everything all in one go. The whole point is that you're there. You are in the room. You've already made a change just by being there.
Very early on in my career, I was told always be true to yourself. And that actually has been fantastic advice.
Speak your views and listen to others. It's the balance in being able to do both, I think, are very, very important.