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Women in broking

 

 

Women in broking

Emma Ryan Comments 0
— 11 minute read

The Adviser, in partnership with finance aggregator FAST, brings you this special feature on women in broking. We spoke to five female brokers, all of different ages and backgrounds, on their experience in what has traditionally been seen as a male profession. Together they share with us their insights on broking and their opinion of the industry now and looking into the future

The mortgage broking industry is no longer purely a man’s world.

Statistics show that the major players are seeing an increased rate of recruitment amongst women who are choosing a different career path instead of traditional banking.

Last year alone, the MFAA verified that 40 per cent of its new members were female brokers, compared to 31 per cent in 2012 and 22 per cent in 2002.
In 2015, that percentage is expected to rise even further.

Women are a crucial addition to the broker world and those coming into the industry are writing substantial volumes, making them a force to be reckoned with.

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A number of broker groups and aggregators agree and are looking to promote more women in broking as part of a broader push to see more women in financial services.

FAST chief executive Brendan Wright says this is an important goal, moving into the future.

“We want to attract more female brokers to the FAST network and we want our female brokers to be the industry’s most successful, and this is a key focus for us moving forward,” he says.

Female brokers already in the industry are from diverse backgrounds, and are all making their mark as successful brokers.

So what attracts these women to what was once considered a male-dominated industry? What sets them apart from their male counterparts?

The Adviser spoke to five FAST female brokers to find out.

 

NATALIE TINECHEFF

Founder/managing director, Q Mortgage Australia

Q. How did you come into the broking industry?

I became a single mum 10 years ago and I was looking for something where I could work from home and raise my children. As a result I got into finance, which happened to be the best financial move I could’ve made. I got my licence first and built the business on my own and worked my way up to be where I am today.

Q. How has the industry changed for women since you entered?

You see more elite female brokers now than you did before. There is a much larger female presence. I don’t believe the attitude between the difference of men and women has changed significantly over the time though. I do find the glass-ceiling issue is still prevalent to a degree but there are definitely more women in finance now and it’s great to see.

Q. What are some of the advantages of being a woman in broking?

I think women have a natural compassion and people are a little bit more open to women. Rather than it be all about money, business and figures, we actually go to the core of people’s requirements as a family. I just think women have a natural understanding of that because they have been to the core of that in their own world.

Q. What are some of the barriers you’ve faced?

I do feel that it is a traditionally male-dominated industry and particularly on the lender side, I think there is a lot of attitude that women don’t know what they’re talking about. I think if some men don’t change their attitude about working with women, they’re going to be missing out on substantial volumes coming through from them.

Q. What can broker groups and aggregators do to promote more women in broking?

The hardest thing in finance for anybody, regardless of gender, is getting the clients. I think they need to bring more women with established client bases and give them that opportunity.

I think women will become more successful faster with the right tools.

 

MADHU CHAUDHURI

Managing director, Finance and Mortgage Solutions

Q. How has the industry changed since you entered?

There are absolutely more women signing up to be brokers and the women that I am meeting now are much younger. In the 90s you rarely saw a woman. They were really in the executive property end but you didn’t get many women doing property management – it was sort of mid- to low-end market selling. Women are, I think, beginning to be seen.

Q. What are the main differences of being a woman in broking compared to being a man in broking?

I, being a woman and a mother, have family obligations. I have actually never been able to go meet clients in the evening because I’ve always had to be at home doing family duties. I brought up my kids alongside my career and I work very close to home.

Q. Have you faced any barriers during your time as a broker?

When I first started in 2006 I felt very alienated when I used to go to PD days. Most people couldn’t relate to me because I was a stay-at-home mum with three kids, I was working from home, my email address said Hotmail at that time, I didn’t have a business card, I didn’t have a brand and I did not come from a banking background, therefore I had no previous connections.

Q. What do you think broker groups and aggregators could be doing to get more women into broking?

I think the best thing any aggregator can do, and it’s not only a woman thing, is align the new brokers with existing ones. I’m very passionate about mentoring because I did not have that. With newer entrants, you need somebody to hold your hand and give you guidance.

Q. What’s the best thing about being a woman in broking?

I love this profession as a woman because there is no profession that beats its flexibility. It’s an amazing field. You can have your maternity leave, you can have a baby at home and you can still work.

 

HOLLY BUNDY

Director, Bundy Financial Services

Q. What type of women have you seen enter the broker space since you entered it 18 months ago?

The women that I run into are more mature; they’ve been in the industry for a really long time and have done the hard yards. Certainly the new ones in the industry are younger, similar to my age, are looking for a career change and are actually going out and diversifying from what they might’ve been doing before.

Q. Do you think there are any misconceptions out there about women in the broking industry?

I don’t think there are any misconceptions as such. I think women are becoming more of an advocate in that space because we do provide that personalised touch and that service. Not to say that the males don’t do that too, but women I guess have got a little bit of that finesse that they also bring to it as well.

Q. What’s the best thing about being a female broker?

It’s a great career for women, especially if you want to go off and have a family later and you’ve got an established business. I think there’s certainly more women entering into the broking space now.

Q. What can broker groups and aggregators do to promote more women in broking?

FAST is a huge advocate for women. They want to see the younger generation coming through. I think FAST do it really well – they’re really proactive and help those younger, or who haven’t been a broker before, get on board. They’ve certainly made it friendlier for women too. My partnership manager is fabulous and she’s a female so that certainly makes the process less intimidating. It’s all about helping the brokers set up and get those initial accreditations.

Q. What advice do you have for women looking to make a move in the broking industry?

Before you go out into the industry, you need to make sure you’re prepared with your client base. Make sure you have your ducks in a row and be prepared to hit the ground running straightaway as a broker.

 

SHARRYN HUGGETT

Director, Huggett Enterprises Pty Ltd

Q. How long have you been in the financial services industry?

I started in the finance industry in 1974 and I was head of lending in a financial institution for 13 years. I opened up several businesses in Canberra, which I had for over 20 years. On top of that, I went back into broking 18 years ago.

Q. How has the industry changed since then?

Certainly, when I started broking 18 years ago, there were not a lot of female brokers. It was very much a male-dominated industry. Nowadays for both women and men, you see a lot of brokers coming out of the banking industry or sometimes the finance industry. I love to see young brokers coming through and I think it’s great that women are out there because at the end of the day, they’re generally married, they’ve got children, and they’re running two jobs – being a mortgage broker and a mother/wife.

Q. What’s the best thing about being a female broker?

It’s something women can really be entrepreneurial in. They can run their own business; they can take their own journey and cover themselves and their families. Brokers with younger children do have that flexibility and as the children grow up, they can work in other areas, for instance they might want to go into commercial. They can have a good balance.

Q. Are there any misconceptions about women in broking?

I wouldn’t think so. I’ve always been treated very well. I think perhaps women in broking look at the industry a little bit different to men sometimes. I guess there’s a maternal thing that comes out more, particularly with first home buyers. You tend to hold their hand more as they’re going through the process.

Q. How can female brokers ensure they will be successful?

FAST is a brilliant aggregator and it’s important for any broker to have that because they offer a lot of support. An aggregator needs to take an interest and help their brokers with partnership managers and help support the business in different ways – whether it’s an introduction to a new lender or letting you know what’s going on in the industry.

 

NINA BATT

Senior executive, BCP Home Loans

Q. What is your background in the financial services industry?

I’ve been in finance for many years. I started my career with Westpac in Sydney and they brought me down to Melbourne in the commercial and international side of businesses. I was then put on a fast-tracked program with Westpac for women as they were trying to entice women into managerial type roles. I left Westpac and have been with BCP for about 15 years and that was my first introduction to the actual lending side of finance. I’ve had over 25 years of banking experience, both in the Sydney and Melbourne market.

Q. What have you found to be an advantage of being a woman in broking?

Most of the couples I deal with, the women are usually the decision makers and I think women put a lot of trust and faith when dealing with women. There’s an advantage in that because women are more likely to talk to their friends about a great experience and will broadcast your work for you.

Q. In your experience, have you faced any barriers by being a woman in broking?

I’ve never had an issue with anyone doubting my abilities. If anything, I actually find that these days we should be promoting to market more women because most women make the decisions in the household. Most of the couples I deal with, the women are the ones making the decisions so I think there’s a real opportunity there because women put a lot of faith and trust in other women.

I’ve never had any problem with male clients either though – I’ve got great clients. Most of them I’ve had for years and they come back, and I’m actually servicing their children so that’s the greatest compliment someone could ever give me.

Q. What do you think broker groups and aggregators can do to promote more women in broking?

I know the MFAA were looking to have some mentoring roles to try and attract young guns into the industry. I think there’s an opportunity to assist women coming in as well because it can be quite daunting for the new entrants when they go to a function and it’s full of men.

FAST runs functions for women which is great and they often bring someone from their leadership team to come and have a chat. Generally it’s a female, which is great because you can hear about how they’ve managed through rearing their kids and balancing a career.

Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for those women looking to make their mark in broking?

Trust yourself. Have confidence in yourself and trust your instincts. We can do it better because we’re able to do lots of things at once – we have that ability as women. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can be an asset to the industry.

Women in broking
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