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Women Aren’t Always Naturally Better FAs

November 14, 2016

Some female financial advisors may be naturally more empathic and better listeners than their male counterparts, but those traits aren’t the exclusive domain of women, business consultant Beverly Flaxington writes in Advisor Perspectives.

A female owner of an advice firm writes in asking Flaxington if women are naturally more effective advisors, explaining that she frequently tells her male coworkers to do as she does: to “listen, be empathic, solve problems, etc.” But Flaxington warns against making generalizations.

When it comes to financial advice, such "soft skills" are often cross-gender, she writes.

Behavioral science, according to Flaxington, shows disparities within genders when it comes to traits traditionally seen as "male" or "female."

Some men can “flex” and be “female-oriented” in how they work and communicate with others, while some women have more “masculine" traits, she writes.

Being egocentric isn’t reserved for men, while being a good listener and behaving in caring and empathic ways aren't traits reserved for women alone, according to Flaxington.

To the female advice practice owner, Flaxington suggests focusing on what her male colleagues already do well and incorporating what she knows into that. Cross-sharing, she writes, benefits everyone.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Advisor Perspectives article cited in this story, click here.