Friday, May 6th, 2011
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), TOWER Australia and the Macquarie Graduate School of Management officially launched the AFA Female Excellence in Advice Award (the Award) in Sydney last night.

The Award is designed to encourage more women to consider financial advice as a career, to champion those who excel at it and to take the first step in tackling the gender gap that exists in retirement savings, wealth protection and life insurance.

Special guest speaker, Professor the Honourable Jennifer Boland said that despite steps in the right direction, the gender divide still exists.

“I am encouraged to see initiatives such as the Female Excellence in Advice Award because it encourages not only participation but excellence in what has, traditionally, been the male-dominated arena of financial services."

AFA CEO Richard Klipin said the idea for the Award was born because of the under-representation of women at all levels of the financial advisory profession. "We want to encourage all women to consider becoming involved in financial advice but in particular, we want to see higher rates of participation at a leadership level,” he said. “The Award seeks to actively encourage more women into the industry so they are better represented within the ranks of financial advisers and better able to help women secure their financial future.”

Brett Clark, CEO Retail Life of TOWER Australia said that research suggests women are significantly underinsured and generally have inadequate retirement savings, yet they often have higher protection needs and can expect to live longer lives than their male counterparts.

"TOWER statistics reveal that although women make up 45% of the Australian workforce, only 12% of TOWER Australia income protection claims come from women,” he said. “These statistics have significant social and fiscal implications for us all.”

Kerry Chikarovski who is Patron of the Award said she is delighted to be a part of the Awards process. "Efforts that help women become more successful, personally and professionally, are few and far between," she said. "I applaud the AFA on this initiative and am personally honoured to be its Patron."

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Keywords

Association of Financial Advisers, Tower Australia, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, women, females, gender imbalance, women in the workforce, glass ceiling

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