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St James’s Place ‘Mind the Gap’ event addresses gender equality in pay

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Wealth manager St James’s Place’s second annual ‘Mind the Gap’ event on Thursday 13 November, hosted by Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, discussed gender equality in pay and how a career in financial services can help address this issue. 

St James’s Place, through the St James’s Place Academy, believes that changing career to enter wealth management gives professional women the opportunity to move away from the concept of a gender earnings gap while allowing them to also be their own boss. St James’s Place is based on meritocracy where hard work is rewarded regardless of who the person may be and their background.

Baroness Wheatcroft, non-executive director at St James’s Place, said: “Being a financial adviser offers a really interesting career option for women. There is the flexibility to choose working hours that accommodate family commitments and rewards reflect effort and ability, regardless of gender. Whereas in many industries there remains a pay gap between what men and women earn, St James's Place really does provide equal opportunities for anyone with the right skills and energy to flourish.”

Gina Parker, Senior Partner at St James’s Place, who has been with St James’s Place for over fifteen years, commented: “Being a woman hasn’t added nor detracted to my job, rather there has been a direct relationship between effort and reward. I have found gender to be a complete irrelevance, which is very refreshing in a financial services company. Not only have I been provided with the opportunity to start my own business but also to earn just as much, if not more than my male counterparts.”

Recent Academy graduate Sharon Marson, Associate Partner at St James’s Place, highlighted that there needs to be more choice when choosing an adviser, especially in terms of gender, emphasising that: “For women going through a divorce they often feel far more comfortable speaking to a female financial adviser about their financial affairs and how they should be divided.

The event was held at Simpsons in the Strand and discussed the issues facing women working in, or entering the male dominated financial services industry, in particular with regards to the difference in pay. It was held as part of the St James’s Place Women’s Initiative, a campaign from the firms training Academy, to promote wealth management as a career choice for women. The Academy Partner gender split currently stands at 22% females, thus over double the national average.

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