Latest figures continue to show a growing gender gap in the financial services sector, however Dubai-based Holborn Assets says it seems to be bucking the trend as the firm continues to hire more females in its South Africa offices.
Figures released to mark South Africa's national women's day on 9 August show that women in the workplace now account for more than 50% of the roles within the group's South Africa operation, and it's not just back office functions. In their Cape Town office, five of the seven financial advisors are female, and eight of Holborn Assets 19 wealth managers based in South Africa are women.
This is in stark contrast to the latest data released recently from ‘Statistics South Africa' which showed that out of the 12.5 million people working in the financial services sector worryingly only 33% are women. Even more concerning is the data suggests the gender gap is growing.
The women in our team haven't been hired based on gender, they have been hired simply because they are the best people for the job."
Between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019, the number of women working in finance has dropped by 0.2%. During the same period, the number of male employees has risen by 7.1%.
Cheryl Rosa, operations manager for Holborn Assets in South Africa (pictured) said: "When I started in the industry in 2014, about 98% of the advisers were male.
"Here at Holborn Assets not only have we seen a rise in female advisers, but also the diversity in the age of the female advisers. People have become open to accepting advice from females of all ages."
Yet the number of women working in financial services has slowly increased over the last five years. 838,000 women were working in the sector between April and June 2014, and for the same period in 2019, that figure reached just over 1 million.
Lourens Reichert, managing director for Holborn South Africa said: "The financial industry is very different from what it was five years ago.
"People are a lot more cautious with their investments. They want an advisor who is going to exercise the same caution and not take risks with their money.
"The women in our team haven't been hired based on gender, they have been hired simply because they are the best people for the job. They understand the client's needs and deliver results in an ever-changing industry."
Robert Parker, CEO of Holborn Assets, commented, "Holborn Assets has a long history of strong female representation and influence at both board and advisor level and we are always conscious to ensure we have a good balance in what has historically been seen as a male dominated industry, without doubt some of our top wealth managers over the last 15 years have always been female, people who join us are always pleasantly surprised to discover this about us, it just seems to me to make perfect common sense"
Holborn Assets is a global financial services group and a leading financial advisory firm based in Dubai. Established in the Emirates for over 20 years, the business has expanded to operate throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
A family owned and operated business, Holborn Assets has over 450 employees worldwide, including 160 financial advisers.