3 businessmen and 1 businesswoman leaning on railing (Photo: Shutterstock)

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If you ask female financial advisors what they see as the biggestchallenges they face in growing their business in 2020, they'lltell you that new or coming regulations could be throwing uproadblocks to that growth.

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In fact, according to a survey from Edward Jones, 31 percent take thatview—but of course other challenges lie ahead:

  • 23 percent point to fee compression
  • while 17 percent cite geopolitical uncertainty

Professional development can be key to meeting those challengesand conquering them, and 55 percent say they plan to leverage theirfirms' resources in their quest to advance. And a quarter seeattendance at industry events and conferences as providingnecessary professional development.

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In their pursuit of new clients and efforts to retain existingones, they're looking at a range of strategies: While 85 percentbelieve in the personal relationships they've already forged andplan to leverage existing client relationships or rely on word ofmouth for growth, the other 15 percent are looking at executing thefollowing strategies:

  • community educational events (7 percent)
  • digital marketing (4 percent)
  • attending networking events (3 percent)
  • advertising in local media and at events (1 percent)

Optimism rules for a little more than half, as 52 percent ofrespondents say they feel barriers to women's career progression inthe financial services industry are coming down and that women havean equal opportunity to succeed in the industry.

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But that doesn't mean they don't have some advice for financialfirms and the public at large:

  • 46 percent said that clear visibility of women in executiveleadership positions would have a noticeable impact and help todetermine firm-wide policy
  • 27 percent said more access to financial classes for highschool and college students could steer them toward the financialadvisory field

In addition, the importance of mentors—particularly early in acareer, although by no means only then—is important to 30percent.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.