Every year on the 8th of March people from around the globe come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, for International Women’s Day. This year, the International Women’s Day campaign theme is ‘BalanceforBetter,’ which encompasses the idea of striving for a gender-balanced world. So, in light of this year’s theme, we thought we’d take a look at how women fare in finance.
Traditionally, the world of finance has always been a bit of a man’s game, especially when it comes to executive positions which have predominantly been filled by men.
Nowadays, we are starting to see more and more women popping up in the mostly male-dominated finance industry; however, there are still very few in executive roles. In fact, according to data from the Senior Executive Census 2018 by the Chief Executive Women organisation, executive leadership teams were made up of 77% men, and just 23% women.
While women are still far outweighed by men in these positions, the good news is that the number of women in leadership positions is slowly growing, with a 2% increase from 2017.
To celebrate growing numbers of women making it to the top, we thought we’d highlight some inspirational women who are out there smashing goals and breaking glass ceilings in finance.
Natalie Housson: Chief Financial Officer, Ratesetter Australia
Taking the world of global finance by storm, Natalie Housson has worked in e-commerce, retail banking, fintech - you name it! There’s no wonder why this boss-lady was a Female Fintech Leader of the Year finalist. Throughout her career, Housson has worked in various senior finance leadership and transformation positions, like her Executive Manager role at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Housson’s biggest finance gig, however, would have to be her current role as Chief Financial Officer at Ratesetter. Fun Fact: Housson started at Ratesetter in 2017, which also happened to be the year that Ratesetter took home a Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Award. Coincidence? We think not!
Ritu Sinha: Chief Customer Officer, Gateway Bank
This year, Ritu Sinha will be taking over as Chief Customer Officer at Gateway Bank. Sinha has a laundry list of management and leadership experience in industries like financial services, airline, education and telecommunications. Sinha’s start at CCO will see Gateway’s executive team to being made up of 60% women, proving it’s not just talking the talk when it comes to gender diversity. Oh, and by the way, Sinha is replacing outgoing CCO Lexi Airey who’s kicking her own goals by becoming Gateway’s new CEO in mid-March.
Shemara Wikramanayake: CEO, Macquarie Bank Australia
In 2018, Shemara Wikramanayake became the first-ever female CEO at Macquarie Bank Australia, and shortly after was named the fifth most powerful woman on Fortune’s 2018 International Most Powerful Women list. Plus, Macquarie Bank is expected to lift profits by 15% to a record $2.9 billion this year, under Wikramanayake’s leadership. As if that’s not impressive enough, Wikramanayake is an advocate for encouraging young girls to enter finance careers.
Marie Mortimer: Managing Director, loans.com.au
Talk about a girl-boss! Marie Mortimer launched loans.com.au back in 2011 and has lead the company as Managing Director ever since, turning it into the hugely successful online loan provider it is today. Considering loans.com.au is offering up the lowest home loan rate in our database at the moment, we think it’s safe to say she’s doing a pretty great job. Mortimer also placed as a finalist in the Women in Finance Awards, not one, but two years in a row! Let’s see if she makes it a hat-trick this year! Before running an online lending empire, Marie broke into the finance industry as a university graduate, taking on different managerial roles and gradually working her way up to the top. Talk about a hustle!
Tips to kickstart financial independence:
As you can see, there are loads of inspiring women out there kicking goals and killing it in finance, and you can do the same! If you want to take control of your finances but don’t know the first thing about it, here are some tips to get you started:
- Build a savings buffer: Whether you want to start saving for your dream house or a trip to Europe, it’s always good idea to have some spare cash set aside in a savings account for a rainy day. This way if you ever run into any unexpected expenses, you’ll have the money already there, and you won’t have to rely on anyone to get you out of a jam because you’ll have the financial independence to take care of it yourself.
- Have a credit card in YOUR own name: In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s 2019 people! If you haven’t already done so, get a credit card (or any other bank account or card for that matter) in your own name. Having financial independence means having control over your own money and spending it on your terms. Having your financial accounts in your own name is the first step to doing this.
- Get out of debt: Up to your ears in debt? Make it a priority to establish a solid financial plan so you can say goodbye to that lingering debt once and for all! A debt consolidation loan is a great way to bundle each individual debt into one loan at one interest rate (as opposed to different interest rates for each debt) which you can gradually pay off.
For more tips on how to take control of your finances, check out Mozo’s banking hub.