In August, Momentum Media hosted its third annual Women in Finance Awards, in association with principal partner AMP Bank. The awards ceremony was a cathartic night of celebration and support, recognising the leading women in finance across 22 individual awards and five company awards. We review what happened on the night.
An event like this is important because it gives everyone the opportunity to reflect on and applaud the achievements of women working in finance. I would argue its even bigger purpose is, ultimately, to encourage more women to enter the sector, strengthening it with their talents, their skills and their life perspectives.”
These were the words posted by the leader of the Australian Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, in the late afternoon of Thursday, 1 August, honouring the finalists of the Women in Finance Awards 2019.
The third annual awards, hosted by Momentum Media in association with principal partner AMP Bank in Sydney on 1 August, intended to do just that – honour the women making a difference in accounting, banking, insurance, financial advice, funds management, mortgage broking and superannuation in the hopes of seeing more women enter this typically male-dominated space.
Hosted at The Star in Sydney and emceed by journalist and TV presenter Shelly Horton, the cross-industry awards and networking event showcased the star performers working in finance as part of Momentum Media’s aim to help broaden the talent pool of financial and professional services.
As the Opposition Leader went on to say: “There’s a way to go yet. More women are needed. Neither a nation nor a workplace can reach its full potential, either economically or by any other measure, until it achieves a gender balance that reflects that of the society in which it exists.”
Similarly, AMP Bank CEO Sally Bruce congratulated all the winners of the Women in Finance Awards 2019, commenting: “We think the awards will provide significant gravitas for those that are successful.
“This is a fabulous addition to their resumes, to be recognised and celebrated on a national scale in a professional capacity.”
However, she noted that celebrating women was just one side of the conversation.
Ms Bruce elaborated: “Supporting women means including everyone in this conversation about diversity. One part can’t move without the other. You need everyone to be celebrated and supported.”
The AMP Bank CEO noted that everything the bank does is “focused on both genders”, adding: “We don’t talk about pay equity for women. We talk about same pay for same work. It’s not even a gender matter, it’s just what is appropriate.”
She noted that the bank also has a rule in place that means that any “significant meetings” (such as leadership team meetings, risk committee meetings, pricing and product committee meetings) cannot take place unless there is at least 30 per cent female representation and 30 per cent male representation in the room.
She concluded: “You need diversity of thought to make great decisions. It’s not about trying to create a platform for just one party.”
By showcasing the women whose talent, tenacity, determination and resilience have helped them on their path to success, we aim to bring more leaders into this space. As such, in the following pages, we will be: outlining the winners of the awards and revealing their top career advice; profiling the winners from the broking industry and what they attribute to their success; and lay out in full the wise words of Elizabeth Broderick AO, Australian lawyer and former (and longest-serving) Australian sex discrimination commissioner (2007-2015), which was met with tears, laughter and a standing ovation.
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the Women in Finance Awards 2019.
*** A word from AMP Bank ***
AMP Bank was proud to sponsor the 2019 Women in Finance Awards recently.
We came together for an evening that recognised the outstanding women shaping and influencing the financial services industry. We were delighted to showcase their work and highlight their achievements and were impressed with the high standard of finalists and winners.
The awards share our strong focus on women, diversity and inclusion. AMP Bank is committed to providing a workplace where all employees can reach their full potential, regardless of background or commitments outside work. We’re shifting the dial on flexibility by encouraging mainstream conversations about the benefits of promoting a flexible and diverse workforce that is representative of our population. We’re dismantling common barriers to progression for women by fostering flexible working, designing more part-time roles and closing the gender pay-and-super gap.
Our industry has come a long way, and there is still much more to do, but taking the time to pause and reflect on the significant contribution women make to the financial services industry through awards such as these, is another step towards a more equitable future for everyone.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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