The 20% Push for 50%

Forum Magazine consulted Certified Financial Planning Professional Kelly Ho with Vancouver’s DLD Financial Group Ltd to discuss how to boost the stagnating numbers of female advisors.

The number of female Canadian advisors hasn’t budged in two decades. How can the industry entice more into the business?

Back in middle school, preparing to move on to high school, Jackie Porter’s guidance counsellor told her, “You have two strikes against you: you’re a person of colour, and you’re a woman. There are not going to be a lot of options for you in life.” Determined to prove the guidance counsellor wrong, Porter completed high school and university, sometimes working three jobs at once to make ends meet. Then, when she was in her early 20s, a severance package gave her an opportunity to pause and reassess, and a friend suggested she meet with a financial advisor.

“The referral; was a Black woman who looked like me, and that really was exciting because it gave me the vision to see that I could do that”, Porter says. ‘As she was talking to me, a bubble kind of came over my head, and I was like, ‘I think this is what I’m supposed to do.’

Twenty-four years after joining the industry, Porter – a certified financial planner – runs Team Jackie Porter (Carte Wealth Management) in Mississauga, Ont. However, she notes that women – especially women of colour – continue to face considerable barriers in an industry still dominated by men.