How to get more women into the financial advice industry? For starters, let them know that it exists.

Right now, the advisory business is not even on girls’ and women’s radar prior to college, according to a report from InvestmentNews Research and State Street Global Advisors. Just 27% of women surveyed decided to pursue an advisor-industry career prior to or during college.

The report, “Women in advice: Inspiring the next generation of financial advisers,” found that many women see the industry as inflexible and unwelcoming, writes InvestmentNews. That is increasingly untrue.

“Only through deliberate outreach will younger generations understand this profession exists and form impressions from an earlier age about what being an adviser entails,” the publication says.

The industry is often perceived, fairly or not, as being something of a frat house. “The sheer [gender] imbalance places the financial advice industry on its heels, forcing it to overcome a ‘boys’ club’ image propagated by negative portrayals of the industry in popular culture.” InvestmentNews writes. “Such branding issues steer potential talent away from choosing a career in financial advice.”

The report calls on the industry to transform workplace culture, increase flexibility and create transparency around compensation and promotions. That’s a tall order; how is the advisory industry stepping up? Got an example? E-mail us at [email protected].

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