Women are breaking through barriers and are finding success in different sectors. Unfortunately, the shocking reality is that just a small percent of women work in finance. It is unlikely that this trend will be changing anytime soon.
Deloitte’s insights shows that just 31 percent of financial workers will be female by 2030. This begs the question “Why do women have a hard time working in finance?” There are many theories. We wanted to learn more from an expert. This is why we spoke with Farnoush Farsiar an accomplished financial professional who is passionate about women’s empowerment.
How many women are employed in finance?
The U.S. is home to 57% of the workforce. But the country only has 24% of the financial work. It is predicted that this number will rise to 28% within the next ten year, from 24% in 2021. However, it’s still far below parity.
This is not a problem only for women. Farnoush Farsiar Farnoush Farsiar said that diversity is a problem for economic growth. “Diverse leadership teams perform better than teams that do not have as broad a variety of perspectives,” Farsiar said. “So it’s not just crucial for women to be included in these positions; it’s also critical for the country overall.”
There are a myriad of theories as to the reasons why women in the finance industry aren’t represented. Farnoush Farsiar One theory is that the finance industry is too male-dominated and competitive to permit women to enter the field. Another theory suggests that financial careers are viewed as a deterrent for women by peers or parents.
Farsiar believes women’s socialization from an early age is the source of the issue. “Women are taught from a young age to be caretakers rather than risk-takers. “We are taught to stay safe and to not risk it all. It’s not conducive to an investment career.
It’s not just the fact that women are taught to be caregivers and caregivers; they’re also taught to be people-pleasers. Farsiar claims that women are taught to be courteous and avoid conflict. “But you need to be able advocate for your own financial ideas. You must be able to and willing to advocate for yourself.
Farsiar asks: Where are all the women working in finance?
Particularly at the highest levels of finance, the lack of women in finance ranks is alarming. Women hold just about only 10% of the executive positions, according to a 2016-2017 study conducted by Pew Research. Just 11.5 percent of the board members at financial companies are held by women.
This is a real-world issue for women in finance. They are more likely not to get promoted than male counterparts, and they’re as well more likely to leave the industry altogether.
The positive side is that the amount of women who hold senior positions is gradually but steadily growing. Farnoush Farsiar believes the reason for this increase is due to the #womenshould movement, which has increased awareness of the problem of diversity. Farsiar affirms that she believes the #MeToo movement had an equally significant impact. Women are beginning to speak out and demand changes.
Financial Access Barriers for Women
There are many barriers which prevent women from pursuing careers in the world of finance. The lack of role models is just one of the biggest hurdles. Finance professionals are typically the only female within their field, which can be isolating.
“It can be very intimidating to be the sole woman in the room,” Farsiar said. “You are conditioned to be perfect all of the time, and that you’re not allowed to make any mistakes.”
Another obstacle is another one is the “old boys”club” mentality that is still prevalent in a lot of finance companies. This is the belief in that men support other women and that they are excluded.
“There’s lots of truth in it,” Farsiar admits. “I have seen it happen firsthand. Men will be promoted by men, even if they are more competent.
Farnoush Farsiar This”old-boys’ club” mentality can also result in discrimination and harassment sexually. Women in finance are frequently exposed to unwanted advances and demeaning comments from male counterparts.
Farnoush Farsiar exclaims that “it’s definitely an issue.” “Women in Finance are usually treated as objects. It’s tough to make progress when you’re treated in this manner.”
The last barrier is the inability to find flexible work arrangements. Women are more likely to take on family responsibilities like caring for parents who are elderly and children. Women require flexible work schedules to be able to manage work and family.
“Finance, being a complex business, is difficult to manage when you have additional responsibilities. Farnoush Farsiar Women are often forced to make a choice between their career as well as their family professions.
These barriers make it very difficult for women to join the financial sector and achieve the top positions. There are many initiatives being taken to remedy this.
Farnoush Farsiar is optimistic about the future of women in finance
There are good reasons to believe that women will continue to be employed in the financial sector. Numerous initiatives have been initiated to increase the number and reach the top of the industry.
One such initiative is the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi) It is a partnership between the World Bank Group & 14 governments. We-Fi provides financing and assistance for women-led businesses in developing countries.
Farsiar stated, “This is an excellent initiative since it gives women access to resources that will aid them in starting and growing their businesses.” It also helps them to establish networks and connect with other women who are successful.
Another initiative is the Women in Finance Charter, which the U.K. government launched in the year 2016. The Women in Finance Charter is a commitment of companies in the financial sector to promote gender diversity.
Farsiar praises “The Women in Finance Charter as a significant step in the right direction.” “It encourages financial institutions to take action regarding gender diversity and is creating a positive change.”
Women in Finance Charter and We-Fi help women to achieve higher-level posts. This is a great thing for women and the financial sector.