The growth of the Financial Executive Women (FEW) initiative shows how the industry is undergoing positive change.
Now in its fifth year, FEW is going from strength-to-strength towards the positive progression of women.
In founding the organisation, I was inspired to provide women with the support systems they need to get from a to b.
I found after running an executive search firm for 25 years that the reason women weren’t getting from a to b had more to do with the lack of support systems. I felt the only way to solve the problem was to change the systems and provide the right support and guidance.
FEW provides several initiatives to address the needs of members at different stages of their career.
One major initiative is the pairing of members with advocates who are more experienced and outside their current organisation. All members have the opportunity to be paired with an advocate, and also be an advocate to someone else. The concept is give and receive. We encourage women to help others and pass their knowledge on and share their experiences. For instance, one of the initiatives is online access to a private forum where members can ask daily questions anonymously and these questions are answered by senior members. The intimate discussion group sessions [email protected] and [email protected] have also been extremely popular and are now being rolled out nationally.
Sponsored by some of Australia’s largest financial institutions, such as AMP, CBA, NAB, Macquarie, PwC, IRESS, UBS, Equipsuper, we are working towards promoting the positive progression of women.
It is so important that the financial services industry joins together, as progression can’t be done in isolation.
The majority of our corporate sponsors have been with us since inception, and we are in discussions with several other large organisations who will join in the coming months. FEW provides the support systems needed for women focused on leadership and career progression.
Our FEW members are constantly providing feedback that the help they have received from their FEW advocate has been instrumental in their progression.
it is important that we reflect on International Women’s Day and the contribution that so many women have made and the unsung heroes, like our advocates who are giving their time freely to help others. It is a lot more difficult to achieve your goals alone.
At the end of last year, we also aligned with the Financial Planning Association to help promote financial planning as a great career option for women.
We are starting a five-state roadshow from March to May, celebrating the difference we have made in five years to our members careers and the industry. The five conferences are hosted by our corporate sponsors and FEW.
In honour of International Women’s Day, a 12-month general membership to FEW for attendees to any of the five conferences will be complimentary as part of the conference registration.
This will mean over 800 attendees will have the opportunity to be part of FEW, helping them with support, guidance and advice in their career journey. If the attendee is a male, he can pass the membership on to one of his team members.
This is truly a step in the right direction towards the positive progression of women.
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