TAL, in conjunction with the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), launched the Female Excellence in Advice Award – now in its second consecutive year – at The Deck bar, Sydney.
The Award recognises female financial advisers who are making a significant contribution to their profession, their community and their clients. It is an important initiative in tackling the gender imbalance that exists within the financial services industry – and in the level of female consumers’ retirement savings, wealth protection and life insurance.
It aims to:
- acknowledge outstanding achievements in the financial advice sector
- support greater participation by females in leadership roles within financial services
- encourage more females into the advice profession
- address the issue of female under-insurance and generally low level of women’s superannuation savings.
Brett Clark, CEO of TAL Retail Life, shared his vision for Award during his key note presentation:
“Welcome everyone to the 2012 launch of the Female Excellence in Advice Award. We are proud to join with the AFA again in presenting this important Award to the financial services industry for the second year.
We value our participation in this award deeply. Together with the AFA, we launched it in 2011 to achieve largely three things; to showcase the very best the financial advice industry has to offer; to acknowledge the very real difference that the outstanding women in our industry make to people’s lives every day; and to encourage more women into our great industry.
Diversity, and the benefits of a more diverse community, is being debated at the highest levels of corporate Australia. It is also a core part of the culture at TAL. We want to see more women in leadership roles in our business. Why? Because we believe our business will be better for it – we will get better outcomes.
Looking back not too long ago, our industry could rightly be accused of being a very blokey world. There is no doubt in my mind that this inhibited the progress of industry. It limited debate, innovation and, dare I say it, trust in the industry – which resulted in limitations to customer reach.
That is now changing. And, while there is still much more to do, there is no doubt that a better gender balance will make our industry an even better one.
Through this Award, we want to see more females participating in our industry. We also want more females leading in our industry.
In its first year, I would have to say the award was an outstanding success. Over 100 nominations -the most for any AFA award – and the overall quality was superb.
We saw outstanding examples of high quality professional advice and the impact it had on people’s lives. We saw high quality financial advice practitioners and successful businesses. And we also saw a considerable body of pro-bono work right across the participants in the award.
The voluntary work was often not spoken about too much. It was typical of the attitude of many of the entrants to just get on with it, but it should be called out and applauded.
We heard, “We love our clients,” “If you don’t care about your clients, find another profession,” and other sentiments that are distinctly female in expression. We also heard customers saying these sorts of things right back about their advisers.
We need to encourage quality female advisers who will shape our industry, give it diversity and provide a greater level of compassion and choice for clients. We want to see more people protecting themselves and their families’ futures. We want consumers to feel confident about the advisers they choose and the service they get.
So following a very successful first year, we are looking forward to an even bigger and better second year in working with the AFA and female advice community.
If you are thinking about getting involved, don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it.”