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Gender parity key to a stronger Australian mortgage broking industry

by Nicole Tosev11 minute read

Nicole Tosev, program lead of AFG Women on the Move, unpacks why gender parity is key in broking.

This month, we mark International Women's Day (8 March), celebrating the achievements of women and marking a call to action for gender parity.

However, despite it being some 95 years since Australia’s first annual celebration of International Women’s Day was held in Sydney, gender inequality remains both across Australia and worldwide.

The Australian mortgage industry is no exception, and in fact the situation has worsened in recent years.


Only about a quarter (25.8 per cent) of Australia’s mortgage brokers are female, according to figures released by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia. This is down from 28.3 per cent in 2016.

Additional research commissioned by AFG demonstrates women brokers are feeling the pinch.

That survey showed 43.21 per cent of female respondents agreed or strongly agreed that there are systematic gender imbalances within the mortgage broking industry, compared to just 8.41 per cent of male respondents who felt the imbalance.

This imbalance exists despite there being many benefits to women from choosing mortgage broking as their career, including flexible working hours, the ability to be your own boss, and the personal satisfaction achieved by improving people’s lives through helping them buy their own home.

Driving business success

For businesses, diversity and inclusion is not just doing the right thing – it is also a powerful tool in achieving business success.

Certainly, greater diversity improves innovation and collaboration, which helps drive business growth.

And given the diverse nature of our community and customer base, higher female representation increases relevance and enables a more tailored service to be provided among a diverse range of customers, helping drive customer satisfaction. For the same reasons, greater diversity also attracts new customers.

Our industry therefore needs to continue working tirelessly to attract more female brokers, and to create an environment that helps retain existing participants.

Attracting and retaining

For mortgage broking businesses, aiming to recruit for a diverse workforce should be a priority when next making hiring decisions.

Not only does recruiting from a more diverse base help expand recruitment talent pool, a positive diversity and inclusion reputation can also enhance the appeal of a particular workplace.

And once onboard, when employees feel valued and connected, they are more likely to be engaged and stay with that workplace for longer.

Ultimately, all these factors, along with the other benefits that diversity can offer, are beneficial to business success.

Championing female brokers

Aggregators also have an important responsibility to champion female brokers and support their place in the industry.

That is because one of the challenges in increasing participation of women in our industry is focusing on activities that genuinely increase the number of female who enter.

Important actions include providing opportunities for our female brokers to connect with peers through networking and collaboration opportunities, as well as investing in professional business development opportunities including mentoring.

All these factors can help female brokers thrive and break down the barriers that continue to drive gender inequality.

To that end, AFG offers its AFG Women on the Move program, brought to you by Westpac, which acts in this regard.

AFG has the vision that before the turn of the decade, we will empower 50 female business owners with a scholarship and broker-to-broker support to grow their businesses, and in doing so inspire each other to increase the number of women in our industry.

There is a lot of work to be done. Even this week, across Australia, AFG is hosting International Women’s Day events over the week of IWD to celebrate the women in our industry.

Achieving gender parity won’t happen overnight, but it’s something the whole industry must work toward, ultimately clearing the path to a gender equal mortgage broking industry and ensuring all participants and their customers benefit from an inclusive workplace.

Nicole Tosev is AFG’s sales support manager for recruitment and lead on its Women on the Move Program, an initiative which aims to increase female participation in the mortgage broking industry.

She joined AFG in 2021 and is based in Victoria.

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