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As a woman working in technology, choosing to hire a financial advisor who understands your career path and unique circumstances can help you enjoy life with less money stress.
Employers located in major tech hubs like Silicon Valley near San Francisco and Silicon Hills in Austin have made strides in hiring more women in technology roles. But as evidenced by Google’s agreement in 2022 to settle a pay equity lawsuit for $118 million, many technology firms have more work to do to ensure compensation for female professionals is on par with their male counterparts in similar roles.
Beyond pay inequality concerns, a deeper dive into the compensation plans for women in technology reveals the complexities of benefits beyond salaries that often include equity awards, stock options, retirement plans, and healthcare.
To help make sense of it, many female technology professionals have chosen to hire a financial advisor who specializes in working with women in technology.
You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in serving women who work in the technology sector.
Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with women in technology is a better fit to help with your unique financial planning needs.
Financial Planning for Women in Technology
💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with women in technology to help them make smart decisions to enjoy life more today while preparing for a comfortable retirement in the future.
🙋♀️ Do you have questions not answered below? Use the form on this page to submit your questions, and we’ll update this article with answers from the financial professionals and educators in the Wealthtender community. You can also contact the financial advisors featured in this article directly to set up an introductory call or ask your questions by email.
💸 Smart Money Insights for Women in Technology
This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:
- Q&A with Financial Advisors Specializing in Serving Women in Technology
- Get Answers to Your Questions About Financial Planning for Women in Technology
- Browse Related Articles
Q&A: Financial Advisors Specializing in Serving Women in Technology
Three Questions with Kelly Klingaman, CFP®, RLP®
We asked Austin, Texas-based financial advisor Kelly Klingaman to answer three questions based on her experience and the knowledge she has gained serving women who work in technology.
Q: What is a common financial planning challenge unique to professional women in technology that you frequently encounter when working with your clients? How do you work with them to overcome this challenge?
Kelly: Technology professionals tend to have similar financial planning challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the complexities of their equity compensation package and understanding the tax implications of that equity comp in conjunction with their above-average salary.
These professionals are often dealing with a highly concentrated position in their portfolio from years of buying company stock with no plan in place to diversify their investment assets. I’ll help my clients remove any rushed or emotional decisions by giving them a systematic plan that helps them manage their stock market anxiety, diversify their positions over time and use proceeds to fund other financial goals.
Women in technology have some unique financial planning challenges, too. One, in particular, is the need for greater balance and time flexibility in their lives after working for 5-10 years in the fast-paced corporate environment of a big technology company or the grind and hustle of the start-up world. It’s common for these women to be in a dual-career relationship where they are the main breadwinner, so they often feel a lot of financial obligation to stay in their high-earning jobs to support their families. Despite their breadwinner status in their relationships, these women tend to spend more hours of the day on domestic household responsibilities and the invisible work that goes into managing a family, which only compounds their burnout.
I work with these women to leverage their financial resources and explore options to bring more stability and balance into their lives in order to lighten their mental loads. That could be hiring extra childcare or a personal assistant to reduce the household management responsibilities or planning for a 6-month sabbatical that allows her to meaningfully pause and clear her head. This might even mean leaving her corporate job to do more meaningful and fulfilling work.
I partner with these professional women in technology to create a strategic vision for using their financial resources effectively. They are then able to rest easy and enjoy living in the moment, knowing we’re planning for their future well-being too.
Get to Know Kelly Klingaman, Financial Advisor for Women in Technology:
Q: What questions do you recommend professional women who work in technology ask financial advisors they’re considering hiring to help them decide if they’re a good fit?
Kelly: Every individual or family looking to partner with a financial advisor should understand how that advisor is set up to do business and how they get paid to make sure there are no conflicts of interest in how they work with clients. You should also ask about their investment philosophy if they’re going to manage your assets and understand that any advisor who claims they can consistently pick stocks or time the stock market has decades of historical evidence against them. Another question I recommend everyone asks is which professional credentials or designations does the financial advisor have and what are their requirements? Check to make sure any planner you’re interviewing has the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation because being a CFP® practitioner is table stakes in the financial services industry.
I recommend that professional women who work in technology ask some additional questions when looking for a financial planner, such as “what expertise do you have in working with clients like me?” Look for a financial advisor that has built their business entirely around the needs of professional women at your particular stage in life.
Even better, find someone who understands and respects your values, attitudes, needs, and perspectives and has experience navigating the same career, financial and personal challenges in their own lives that you’re facing now. You might find it’s easier to feel seen and heard by a planner with similar lived experiences to you and that your deepest desires are truly understood.
This question is also crucial because the financial services industry was not designed with women in mind. A big factor: most financial advisors are men. The CFP Board recently reported that only 23.4% of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals are women, a number that has hovered steadily around this point for over a decade.
Q: Is there a particularly memorable experience or a moment you recall when you first realized women in technology have unique opportunities and circumstances when it comes to their financial planning needs?
Kelly: In my own prior life as a sales professional working in investment management, I didn’t know if I was using my financial resources effectively to enjoy the journey ahead. Was I spending/saving/investing in a way that allowed me to live my most fulfilled life? And what about my family? My young kids, and a husband who works full-time too: I felt like I was neglecting to protect what we were building and didn’t know my financial blind spots. All of this uncertainty, and I was a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional – trained to help other people answer these questions. It just goes to show how tough it is to make objective decisions about your own money.
One thing was clear: my peers in the corporate world – other professional women – deserved financial guidance from someone that understood what a day in their life felt like. They deserved the option to partner with someone who could save them time, boost their financial confidence and help them proactively grow their wealth.
I contemplated this huge gap in financial services long enough to start imagining how I might build a business to help solve the problem. For professional women, in particular, I understood the weight they carried, and I wanted to offer them relief, namely the organization and process of managing their financial life.
If there were more financial planners that catered specifically to successful women in their early to mid-career, they’d have a better chance of optimizing their high-income years in order to build long-term, sustainable wealth. More importantly, these women would be free to focus more on themselves – their career path, their marriage, their kids, their friendships, or whatever it is they valued most.
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About the Author
Founder and CEO, Wealthtender
Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.
With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.