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AFA to address adviser gender imbalance

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has created an initiative for female advisers, aiming to ‘create a balance’ in the marketplace.

The Inspire initiative aims to connect and support females from across the financial advice industry, by offering support for career development through female-focussed events, as well networking, coaching, mentoring and leadership initiatives.

AFA chief executive Brad Fox told ifa there is no good reason for the underrepresentation of women in the marketplace.

“It’s something we need to seek change in,” he said. “When advisers are sitting with families making long-term financial decision, the female plays an incredibly strong role in terms of what advice should be taken.

“We need to recognise that at all levels, and the Inspire initiative is there for support.”

Fox said the initiative is for all women who are involved in bringing financial advice to Australian consumers, including financial planners, para-planners and support staff.

“This initiative is about taking awareness to a whole new level. We want to inspire women in advice roles and women right through all levels of financial advice, from university graduates through to those in management positions,” he said.


Fox said Inspire also aims to support women who cannot commit to certain working hours due to family commitments.

“We want to help them identify ways to overcome those sorts of challenges, because women have shown once they overcome these challenges, there is an outstanding opportunity to progress their careers in advice,” he said.

The Inspire initiative will become part of the AFA's offering to members, as a sub brand of the AFA. Fox said it will “live” in the same way as AFA’s GenXt program, which aims to bridge the gap in knowledge, skills, experience and networks for younger advisers.