Joanne Baker founded Yorkshire Financial Planning with Caroline Allen in 2021.
After working for Halifax Bank and Nationwide Building Society for almost 20 years, she put her passion for the industry and qualifications into creating a business of her own.
The taboo around money management and personal income has forever been a part of our society. For women, seeking financial advice is often associated with negativity and therefore many are left ashamed to ask for help when something isn’t quite right. Female Financial Advisers like Jo are making the difference they want to see for women in a male-dominated business.
Reflecting on how she brought her vision of helping like-minded people to life, Jo shares how she broke the silence in a space that often leaves women feeling unheard and disregarded.
As a Financial Adviser, people often ask me, “what is the one piece of financial advice you would give to your younger self?”. More times than not, I’ll make a quip about buying fewer shoes and handbags.
Whilst this statement is entirely true and would almost certainly have helped maintain a healthy bank balance over the years, the real answer is: “be brave and get some expert financial advice.”
But for most women, the perception of Financial Advisers is that they are stuffy, middle-aged men with a briefcase, who’ll only judge you when you’re asked to share your financial situation. This makes it tough for even the strongest of women not to feel intimidated.
Break the mould
Women face many unique challenges when it comes to financial planning. Traditionally, we have earned less than our male counterparts, often sustain time off work to raise children, which can impact our ability to save up or make future provisions. In many households, it’s even tradition for the male to manage the income and where it is spent.
Whilst times have changed, many women still face many of these challenges.
Having experienced financial advice from others in years gone by, I completely understand why a woman might feel reticent of seeking financial advice. But the world of finance is slowly moving forwards and there are an increasing number of Female Advisers available that have experienced the same challenges as you.
Find yourself in a Financial Adviser
One of the greatest driving forces for setting up YFP was our wholehearted belief that financial advice should be available to everyone. Given the challenges already mentioned, it is vital to find an adviser that fits you. Sometimes you must kiss a few frogs to find the perfect one, but who better to advise you and have in your corner, than someone who can relate to you?
Find someone who understands and has experienced many of the same challenges you have, but also believes that everyone should have financial well-being and freedom.
Just know that this will look different to everyone.
Everyone has individual needs and wants from their finances. A great Financial Adviser will get to know you and find out what makes you tick and what you would like to achieve. This is all to empower you to plan and prepare for your future in confidence.
A problem shared is a problem halved
From my experience, women often feel more comfortable and safe talking to somebody they can relate to, so my advice would be to be brave and find that person.
Women usually gravitate towards confiding in each other because we have a mutual emotional understanding, whether this means we are goal-driven or want similar things in life. This allows us to share our thoughts openly and comfortably, without the risk of not being taken seriously.
Whether it is worrying about childcare fees or wanting to have an emergency or runaway fund in place, females generally have a desire to know that should something come up – they will have the opportunity to fix it.
Reach out and ask for another female’s perspective on your situation, your worries and the goals you have for yourself and your family. Because to achieve your dreams and aspirations, everyone needs someone to support and guide them.