The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) is planning ways to attract more women to the industry, revealing that the percentage of female brokers is significantly below the overall percentage of women in the financial services sector.

FBAA executive director Peter White says that for years the industry has been talking about the need for new brokers to meet increased demand and to replace retiring brokers, but has neglected to properly focus on half of the potential workforce.

He said that while ABS statistics show that in the overall financial services sector, women represent 55 per cent of the workforce, only 29 per cent of FBAA members are women, a figure that is indicative of the industry as a whole.

“I think this may reflect the origins of finance and mortgage broking, as brokers visit people in homes after hours, which may not suit a lot of women. But times are changing,” he added.

He said technology now allows brokers to do interviews by video, but customers and lenders still prefer face to face encounters.

“Personal service will never be compromised by our industry because that’s what sets us apart and has contributed to brokers writing around 56 per cent of mortgages, but it’s time to educate the market and lenders to use modern resources which brings flexibility not only to clients, but to finance broking professionals.”

He said women considering entering real estate and other similar careers due to the flexibility and rewards, should consider finance broking.

“The FBAA has been very proactive over recent years in attracting younger people to the industry, and the fact that so many of our young guns won a large share of the categories at last year’s Awards of Excellence showed the success of our programs.

“Now we must accept that our industry is not on the radar for many women, so the FBAA is developing plans to change this.”