Women in financial services: Why women should consider a career in finance

by Badgley Phelps | Jan 10, 2018

It’s true that women are underrepresented in financial services. But that shouldn’t be a deterrent for those considering the field. In part one of our three-part series on women in finance, developed with input from five women who work at Badgley Phelps, we explore several reasons why women should consider a career in financial services.

Reason 1: It’s intellectually stimulating.

Research Analyst Katie Wham likes that working in financial services requires both IQ and EQ – intelligence and emotional relatability. “It also requires a strong quantitative background and communication skills.”

Wealth Manager and Research Analyst Mitzi Carletti remembers first encountering that intellectual challenge at a young age. “I was made aware of the world of investing in 8th grade when my social studies teacher introduced me to the stock market,” says Carletti. “We spent a semester learning about what makes markets move and researching companies. My mock portfolio didn’t do all that well, but I learned so much. I am fortunate Badgley Phelps supports my efforts to give back through educating students and nonprofit organizations about investing.”

Reason 2: You can help others.

Studies have shown that women may receive more personal and professional gratification from helping others than men. Working in financial services could help fulfill this need. Assisting clients in the pursuit of their financial goals can be incredibly rewarding. Financial services affords women the opportunity to develop relationships with different types of people – to help them overcome obstacles and feel secure.

“One of my core drivers is to help others,” says Associate Wealth Manager Lisa Price. “I quickly found this arena provided me with a great opportunity to meet that mission in a meaningful way. For me, nothing is more gratifying than knowing I am helping someone meet their life goals and dreams.”

Adds Director of Financial Planning and Wealth Manager Julie Parisio Roy, “My relationships with clients are sacred. I have the privilege to see into my clients lives – to learn their values and philosophies, their goals and dreams. I listen to their stories about how they built their wealth, and what it means to them, and conversely what they don’t want it to mean in their lives. Crafting custom plans and investment strategies for my clients to educate and provide security to their lives is interesting and gratifying.”

Reason 3: It’s different every day.

Many people like the structure of routine, but if you’re someone who likes a new challenge every day, financial services may be for you. The industry is fast-paced and the markets are ever-changing – and there are always new opportunities to learn and grow. Says Associate Wealth Manager and Financial Planner Jan Yamamoto, “It feeds your curiosity. This business requires you to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world and to strive to be interdisciplinary – better able to connect the dots.”

Reason 4: It can be surprisingly flexible.

77 percent of American women say they face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent (Pew Research Center). That’s a sentiment shared by women across industries. And while the male-dominated field of financial services may have fewer women, that doesn’t mean that companies aren’t making strides in order to support parents.

Says Parisio Roy, “We are fortunate that Badgley Phelps supports the unique challenges of working parents. Through ‘Mothers in Finance,’ a local networking group, I have heard of progress other firms have made through the years in this same area.”

Advice from women in the field

Thinking of joining the world of financial services? Here is some advice from some of our seasoned pros:

  • “Ask yourself, ‘What do I truly want to do?’ rather than ‘What should I do?’ or ‘What am I qualified to do?’ Be creative, confident, ask for what you want and never give up.” Mitzi Carletti
  • “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” Lisa Price
  • “Find a job and team you are passionate about, and don’t be afraid to stay. You don’t need to leave a job to get ahead.” Julie Parisio Roy
  • “Listen, listen, listen. Absorb as much knowledge from the people around you as you can.” Katie Wham

Working in financial services can be an incredibly rewarding career for women, but it doesn’t come without challenges. Next up in our series: challenges women face working in finance.  



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