TAL is proud to once again sponsor the Female Excellence in Advice (FEIA) award as part of the AFA Awards Program. Nominations are now closed.
There has never been a better time to support and promote excellence. Showcasing women’s achievements promotes positive change in the financial sector and encourages more women to enter the industry.
The FEIA award aligns perfectly with TAL’s commitment to improving the representation of women in both providing financial advice, and also in clients seeking advice. TAL is proud of its approach to gender diversity, which focuses strongly on the career progression of women within the business. TAL’s goal is to maintain gender pay equity within a 1 per cent variance and increase representation of women in leadership roles by 50 per cent by 2020.
The financial industry falls behind other professions when it comes to female participation. The current percentage of female advisers has risen from 17 per cent a little over five years ago, to just over 20 per cent today. This compares unfavourably against demographic statistics and ranks below other traditionally male-dominated professions, such as law, medicine and accounting (which has over 45 per cent women). The FEIA award provides an opportunity to encourage women to enter the industry, and to raise the profile of women advisers in the community. This will assist the industry to engage effectively with women, advise them wisely and help them to secure their own futures. Just how necessary this is can be seen by comparing average superannuation figures of men and women. TAL is committed to helping to close the gender superannuation gap of 47 per cent.
The FEIA award has a powerful impact on winners too. Donna Lee Powell, Founder of DLP Life Design, says that winning the award last year has increased her confidence and validated her work. It has also reassured her that she is making a significant difference in clients’ lives. ‘I have challenging days where I feel overwhelmed, and winning the award reminds me why I do it.’
Female advisers are an asset to a practice, providing a way of broadening the client base. Donna’s client list comprises 75 per cent women, of which around 60 per cent are single, with the majority of referrals coming from clients or key referral parties. Donna believes the reason her services are much sought after is because as a woman with rich life experience, she is compassionate, relatable and down to earth. ‘It’s about helping clients discover what they want to achieve and why, and then empowering them to put things in place to achieve that.’ Donna adds that male clients respond well to her frankness, but she believes that ‘All different types of clients require all different types of services.’ She believes strongly in authenticity and her advice for new advisers is, ‘Back yourself and honour who you are and what you want to achieve.’
The whole FEIA award experience has been the highlight of Donna’s career to date. ‘It forces you to reflect on your purpose and why you do what you do. It doesn’t matter if you win or not. The process is the reward.’
Donna’s advice for female advisers is, ‘Don’t wait to be nominated. Nominate yourself if you want your message to be heard.’ She adds that she particularly wants to encourage nominations from and for those women who go about their day quietly; the women who are doing wonderful things for their clients rather than for themselves. ‘These are the women that I would like to see stepping up out of their comfort zones to put themselves out there, for the benefit of our profession and the community — to share our clients’ success stories.’
This year’s award will be launched on 29 April and nominations close on 7 June. Financial advisers can nominate themselves for the award, or be nominated by peers or clients. With a $15,000 TAL education prize for the winner, the FEIA can transform the way that female advisers build their profile, gain deeper career insights and make valuable connections.