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Industry association announces female leadership scholarships

Mar 13, 2017

Written By Annie Kane, The Adviser | Wednesday, 08 March 2017

The Commercial Asset Finance Brokers Association of Australia has marked International Women’s Day by announcing the nine recipients of its female leadership scholarships.

The 2017 scholarships, offered with the support of lenders, will see nine women undertake one of two courses run by Women and Leadership Australia: Accelerated Leadership Performance (usually $6,990) and Women’s Executive Ready (usually $9,990).

The recipients are:

Accelerated Leadership Performance Program (ALPP)

  • Lisa Wilson – Centrepoint Finance
  • Tanya Lawrence – Allbiz Finance Brokers
  • Renée Hamilton – Magnolia Lane Financial Services
  • Renée Tocco – Loanezi
  • Erin Sanchez – Capital Access Group

Women’s Executive Ready Program (WER)

  • Kristy Noonan – Atlas Equipment Finance
  • Carla Reynolds – Quantum Business Finance
  • Joanna Hare – Magnolia Lane Financial Services
  • Jane Lorimer – Austwide Finance

CAFBA said its scholarship programme is central to its core mission to “grow and support a diverse profession of commercial finance brokers” and believes that educational offerings such as these will “attract a new generation of entrants to the industry to serve the next generation of customers, reflective of the communities that they serve”.

“As an organisation, CAFBA felt it was important to take steps to address the gender imbalance in our industry and key to this is initiating scholarships for female members to reach their potential,” said David Gill, CEO of CAFBA.

“We work with Women and Leadership Australia to offer a scholarship program to assist women to develop the leadership skills and attributes needed to be successful.”

He added: “Equipment finance is the best career you’ve never heard of, and presents excellent career opportunities. CAFBA is aware, however, it needs to develop the resources it currently has to assist attracting more women to our industry, which can provide a flexible career choice.”

Speaking of her award, Renée Tocco, commented: “The CAFBA sponsorship has just once again reiterated the emphasis CAFBA places on addressing the gender imbalance in the finance industry. I feel incredibly supported and honoured by this sponsorship, and hope that I can in my small way encourage more young females into the finance industry, allowing females to reach their true potential.”

Tanya Lawrence, also thanked CAFBA for her scholarship, saying: “Being offered a scholarship from CAFBA has made me proud to be a woman in the equipment finance industry and is giving me the confidence I need to take the next step in my career.

“The benefits of CAFBA addressing the gender imbalance in the equipment finance industry will enable and empower women to not just be limited to the administration roles and progress into the other roles within the financial broking industry.

“I believe that the finance industry as a whole would benefit greatly by having a more balanced gender representation within the workforce that ultimately enables the industry to grow and develop.”

Touching on the fact that today is International Women’s Day, Ms Tocco said: “On [this day] we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. I believe it is up to us, the women in the workforce today, to explore and break down the barriers preventing women from reaching more managerial and leadership positions.

“While women, who currently represent 52 per cent of the Australian workforce, enter the workforce in equal numbers to men and typically aim for senior management positions; the challenge of maintaining an authentic leadership style in the face of a mostly unconscious bias can at times become an excessive price to pay for success. This is so critical for Australian and global companies.”

Ms Tocco continued: “This is not just about gender balance and equality, but about enhancing company decision-making through best use of all available perspectives, ideas and skills.”

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