St James's Place (SJP) has been accused of using dated stereotypes in its efforts to try and attract women to its academy.
"Dated" and "very stereotypical" were the words used to describe a recent event hosted by the SJP Academy at upmarket department store Harvey Nichols in Birmingham.
The event in question, which took place on 25 September, was titled 'Fashioning a New Career' and was targeted at women interested in moving into financial advice.
SJP promised attendees 45 minutes of browsing time at the store, as well as a 30-minute fashion and beauty presentation. The evening ended with shopping time and complimentary mini beauty treatments.
The presentation from SJP lasted 45 minutes, while the evening itself was more than two hours long.
Catherine Morgan, Money Panel founder and qualified financial planner, said if SJP truly wanted to attract more women into the sector, it should be talking about things such as flexible working and supporting women in their careers when they have a family. She described the evening as "dated" and "very stereotypical".
"That is going to get someone way more to think about 'fashioning their career' than it would to put up an event in a boutique, flagship store about shopping," she said.
"Why are they not putting on events that encourage flexible working and working from home around children? Because in reality, that's why, as a profession, I believe we lose a lot of skills and expertise - because companies don't support that way of working. I know SJP do, so why not talk about that?"
Similarly, ISJ Independent Financial Planning Chartered financial planner Lena Patel was not keen on the event's set-up.
"It's not all high heels and shoes, is it? [SJP advisers] are normal people that are doing their job. They are parents or mums that are working. It'll turn off so many women."
Patel continued: "The job is changing. It's not all about being able to buy expensive things - it's about having a life plan. I think sometimes it can put women off coming into the industry if they feel they've got to 'keep up with the Joneses' and be able to afford this level of expenditure and also have clients that are able to do it. It just sends out the wrong message."