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The Adviser, in partnership with mortgage 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.
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. Q&A with Holly Bundy is below.
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 BDM 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.