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Broking remains a boys’ club, say prominent women

by Kylie Purcell10 minute read
The Adviser

The MFAA has increased its female recruitment by one-third in the past two years, but some women believe that broking is still a “male-dominated” industry. 

Chief executive Phil Naylor told The Adviser that about 40 per cent of new MFAA members are women, compared to to 31 per cent in 2012 and 22 per cent in 2002.

 Mr Naylor said new recruits had traditionally come from the male-dominated banking industry, but were now coming from a diverse range of industries with higher female participation rates.

“It is an industry that I think is very suited to women, and some of the best mortgage brokers in Australia are women, so there are no barriers to success on that ground,” he said.


Smart Lending Melissa Gielnik said mortgage broking was still male-dominated, despite the changes that had been made during her 13 years in the industry.

She said that could be seen by the MFAA Mortgage Credit Adviser of the Year award – her victory this year was the first time in a decade that a female had won the award, she said.

Ms Gielnik said that demanding work hours was one of the biggest barriers to female participation.

“For someone like me, with two young kids and running a successful business, I always get asked about how I balance work-life,” she said.

“We work really hard and we earn big money, but it comes at a cost.”

Outsource Financial Chief Executive Tanya Sale said the rise in female participation was not as great as some people may think.

She told The Adviser that men still occupied most of the prominent positions in the industry and that discrimination still existed.

“I’ve seen some top women that probably should have really gotten the role, but haven’t,” she said.

Ms Sale urged women in high positions not to change themselves to fit into the industry.

“They need to remember that they don’t have to do anything to prove that they’re worthy. They’re there for a reason and that’s because they were the superior choice.”

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