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New Retreat Offers Networking Opportunities for Female Advisors

The Female Advisor Network's "Invest in You" conference will offer opportunities for female advisors to work on long-term professional development ambitions.

A new conference will offer a chance for female advisors to network and refine their long-term career development strategies, according to the national membership network organizing the retreat.

The Female Advisor Network, along with partner Orion Advisor Services, will hold the first annual “Invest in You” conference in Atlanta from Sept. 20–22, with registration open to all network members. The conference’s design will focus on bolstering professional and personal development approaches while offering attendees a chance to network. Nina O’Neal, a partner at Archer Investment Management and the founder of the Female Advisor Network, said such retreats offer “time for reflection and renewed motivation.”

“We’re creating this retreat as a platform for women to collaborate with one another with actionable strategies that are relevant to both their work and their lived experience,” she said. “By being in a relaxed environment with a community of like-minded peers, attendees will experience a unique event that is intended for them to unplug, unwind and focus on themselves.”

O’Neal, who started the Female Advisor Network in early April, also spoke to earlier this year about the challenges that female financial advisors face when having children and as working parents.

Female advisors face additional challenges, including an industrywide gender gap. While women make up nearly half of all industry employees, only 15 percent occupy executive suites, and only 17 percent of financial advisors in the country are women.

While 3 percent of U.S. investment firms are owned by women, those firms control only 1 percent of AUM. Some companies are taking initiatives to address the gap; for example, last month Fidelity Investments announced that a newly-formed mutual fund would invest in 100 companies with women in a significant percentage of leadership roles.

The Female Advisor Network's “Invest in You” retreat would provide a resource for women in the industry to address some of these (and other) challenges, according to Kelly Waltrich, the chief marketing officer for Orion.

“Events like this are overdue in financial services,” she said. “Every time you see an all-male ‘diversity’ panel or hear people call for more women without putting any skin in the game, you realize the status quo isn’t working.”

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