ST. LOUIS, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Although 82 percent of Americans say a company would be more attractive if it had a structured mentorship or sponsorship program in place, only 21 percent of men and 18 percent of women who had access to such programs have taken advantage of them.
A recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones also found that there is a significant lack of access to these programs across the board. The survey of 1,000-plus Americans, conducted by ORC International (ORC), found that only about one-third (30 percent) of Americans have access to mentorship and sponsorship programs in the workplace. Of that population, just 34 percent of men and 26 percent of women have had access.
"The lack of formal mentorship or sponsorship programs in the workplace is a serious issue, particularly in financial services, which has traditionally lacked female representation," said Elizabeth Schehl, Director of Financial Advisor Diversity and Female Performance at Edward Jones.
The study also showed that gender remains a hurdle for women in the workplace. Over 90 percent of Americans who were surveyed by ORC believe that gender plays a role in one's career advancement, underscoring the need for more sponsorship and mentorship programs alike in the workplace.
"This issue goes beyond women 'leaning in' and taking advantage of such programs in the workplace, putting the responsibility on the company to provide additional support. At Edward Jones, we are working to address some of the issues that prevent women from seeking a mentor or sponsor in the workplace through our Women's Initiative for New Growth Strategies (WINGS) program," said Schehl. "The program is built on the success of employees who take pride in on-boarding and coaching new women financial advisors . However, there is an important give-and-take here that countless studies have proven – Sheryl Sanderberg's book Lean In is a prime example of that."
Since the WINGS program inception in 2009, the firm has seen a steady uptick in women joining the company as financial advisors, who now make up one-quarter of such recruits.
In fact, women represent 18 percent of the firm's 13,000 financial advisors and diverse advisors represent 6 percent. This is in comparison to the 16 percent of women and 8 percent of diverse individuals that hold financial advisor positions in the broker-dealer industry, according to a 2011 report on workplace diversity by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
To learn more about career opportunities at Edward Jones visit: http://www.careers.edwardjones.com/us/
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.
Edward Jones, which ranked No. 4 on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2014," is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
Survey was conducted by ORC International's CARAVAN Omnibus Services and was based on 1,005 landline and cell phone interviews of U.S. adults conducted July 10-13, 2014. The margin of error was +/-3%.
SOURCE Edward Jones