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Your Money: Aberdeen firm’s ’empowered’ women breaking mould in financial services

Senior financial planner Rhian Morgan: "Working in a team of women and men is powerful. We each bring our own value."
Senior financial planner Rhian Morgan: "Working in a team of women and men is powerful. We each bring our own value."

An Aberdeen firm of financial planners says it is breaking the mould of a sector whose top roles are traditionally taken by men.

More than four-fifths (83%) of women employees at Acumen Financial Planning are in senior positions.

Despite a good gender balance across the financial services industry as a whole, with females making up 50% of the workforce, research shows only 18% of executive teams are women.

Once you have high profile women in your company, it attracts others.”

Acumen said its large number of women financial planners and paraplanners were “breaking the bias”.

And it revealed one of its financial planners was mistaken for a support staff member at industry seminars, just because she was a woman.

Acumen’s support of female-led projects includes the launch of SpringGen, founded by chartered financial planner Jenny Madhoo.

SpringGen provides professional and affordable advice to Gen Y and Zs – millennials and after, or those born since about 1984.

It is a demographic that, Ms Madhoo says, often feels priced out of financial advice.

Jenny Madhoo, founder of SpringGen.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority in 2017, only 6% of 18-34-year-olds sought this kind of support.

Unlike most financial planning firms, SpringGen, based in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, has an equally split male to female client ratio.

Ms Madhoo has had women mentors throughout her career, something she says is hugely helpful in moving SpringGen forward.

She said: “Women tend to be under-confident in what they’re capable of, whereas men are not.

“Once you have high profile women in your company, it attracts others.”

Acumen allows its employees flexibility in their working hours and environment.

This is beneficial to all team members juggling personal commitments, such as children, partners or older parents, the firm said.

“We have five female financial planners which is a powerful statement.”

Rhian Morgan, a senior financial planner at the company, added: “It’s become far more accepted now that men are just as much as the care-giver as females and it’s changed the conversation around the table.

“Working in a team of women and men is powerful. We each bring our own value.

“In our firm, the younger generation coming in, seeing how both men and women have progressed in our company is quite empowering to them as well.

“We have five female financial planners which is a powerful statement”.

To go with story by Paraplanner Janine Rokovucago.

Janine Rokovucago has worked for Acumen as a paraplanner for four years and has more than 10 years’ experience in banking.

In previous roles she experienced the famous “glass ceiling” stopping women progressing in their careers.

Ms Rokovucago said: “Representation is everything and there should be no limits on what role someone can be in.

“There shouldn’t be limits on race, gender, or anything else. It’s important that minorities know these opportunities are available to them.”

Recruitment and development manager Nicola Doohan.

Acumen recruitment and development manager Nicola Doohan said the company’s “reputation as a top employer” and training opportunities were “part of the appeal” for people joining the firm.

” We have had a flexible working pattern in place for many years, enhanced our employee benefits and recently introduced a hybrid working policy,” Ms Doohan added.


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