The financial advisory industry is growing rapidly but rewarding women inadequately, a new report finds. Although women's involvement in the sector has increased - they represented 36% of the industry in 2011, up 6 percentage points from 2003 - the gender pay gap has also grown, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by NerdWallet.com.

Female advisors make only 61.3% of their male peers' annual pay, according to the NerdWallet research, which is similar to other recent reports. A study released earlier this year by Per- shing pointed to a lack of women at major wirehouse firms, where incomes are typically higher and client account sizes are larger, as a main driver of the disproportionate pay gap. Wirehouses are often a training ground for advisors who may make a move for independence once they have more experience and a book of business.

Another factor: Women have been relatively late to the game. "That gives men a major head start on reaching the higher echelons of management at bigger firms, as well as typically having put in the years amassing significant client bases in smaller firms," the NerdWallet study concluded.

Successful female advisors looking to network, build skills and perhaps overcome the pay gap can take part in SourceMedia's Women Advisors Forum. Visit womenadvisorforum.ning.com to join the online community and get details on two events later this year: forums in Chicago on Oct. 29 and in Newport Beach, Calif., on Nov. 14.