It's time for women advisors to step into power

It's time for women advisors to step into power

It

Sybil Verch is on fire. There is no hiding the passion Verch exudes, and her achievements. Producer and host of a national TV show offering financial advice, she is also the author of The Female Edge, and senior vice president and national director of wealth management at Raymond James Ltd.

Verch’s mission is to empower women in the wealth industry. More female advisors are needed, she told Wealth Professional Canada, and the time for them to succeed is now. “It’s up to women to put their hand up and seize the opportunity that lies ahead,” she said.

The opportunity Verch refers to is a sea change in the times.

“Women are controlling more of the wealth and are expected to continue to do so. Women live longer than men, so not only will women build their own wealth but they will also inherit more. And women make more of the financial decisions today, and will continue to do so,” said Verch. She added that research studies which demonstrate that companies with at least 25% female leaders are more profitable, also tip the scales in favor of women.

In her book, Verch shares her personal journey of turning the “glass ceiling obstacle” into a successful senior management role. From her early twenties Verch was passionate enough to pursue her dream career as a wealth advisor, and confident she would succeed despite the many obstacles she faced in the male dominated industry, Verch says the industry has changed since then, but more female role models are needed to inspire women to exude confidence and pursue a rewarding career in wealth management.

“We need help picturing ourselves in different roles. If you see only middle-aged white men in executive positions, our subconscious mind as a woman doesn't imagine ourselves in that role,” she said.

This lack of vision and confidence inspired Verch to write The Female Edge, which offers help with  common challenges women face, such as confidence-building, lack of mentorship, and toxic relationships. However, Verch has sharp advice for those who claim sexism is holding them back. She said: “Stop blaming the men … Focus on what you can control. Put your hand up, ladies. Get out of your own way. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s empowering.”

Verch lives by the motto: “Conceive, believe, achieve”. She explained: “Conceive: set the goal. You know it’s right if it makes you feel uncomfortable and you don’t think it’s going to be easy. Believe: do your research to discover what is required – to believe it's possible. And achieve: execute on your idea and you will achieve it.”

“I knew nothing about how to set up and host a TV show,” said Verch by way of example, “But an information gathering session with a local TV station led to them offering us a deal. The result was my show The Wealthy Life. Conceive, believe, achieve.”