Men and women of every cultural background contribute greatly to the fabric of Australia’s diverse community. It’s what makes Australia such a wonderful place to live and work, and it’s why our country celebrates Harmony Day in March.

In this article, we look at how gender and cultural diversity positively shapes our mortgage broking industry – and what we should be doing to encourage it.

Gender diversity

We’re passionate about encouraging women to enter the mortgage broking industry. While that’s not to say that men don’t do a great job, we’re all about embracing diversity and seeing more women enter this space. We’ve worked with some pretty impressive women in the mortgage broking space. To name-drop a few… Ebony Maxwell is killing it as State Manager (VIC & TAS) at Bluestone Mortgages, while Katrina Lagos of Vision Finance has been running her own mortgage brokerage for well over a decade.

Traditionally a male-dominated industry, we’re seeing more and more women enter this exciting space. But as an industry, we’ve still got a way to go. While women make up 55% of Australia’s financial services workforce, they only make up 29% of Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) members. FBAA Executive Director Peter White says this figure is representative of the broking industry as a whole.

And you only need to review the list of MPA Top 100 Brokers 2018 to notice that there are only 12 women featured on there. (Head to page 22 to read about these incredible ladies!)

Women are still underrepresented in mortgage broking, which doesn’t make sense as they make excellent mortgage brokers! Mhairi MacLeod, principal of Astute Ability Finance Group, shares that ‘a woman’s ability to build rapport is second to none’. As purchasing decisions for mortgages are often made by women between 35 and 55 years old, female mortgage brokers are in an excellent position to offer empathy and form genuine connections with customers.

Employing more women in mortgage broking has a wealth of advantages, and Quality Financial Group states that it makes good business sense.

Cultural diversity

It’s 2019, and around 28% of Australians were born overseas (including our own Managing Director!). Chances are, your customers aren’t all going to be of the same cultural background.

By fostering a diverse cultural workforce, you’re in a better position to address specific customer differences and needs when it comes to buying property. Employ mortgage brokers of varying cultural backgrounds, and you’ll be in a good position to better connect with and understand your customers, thereby offering a better service.

Vichealth suggests that cultural diversity can, in fact, be good for business. It can enhance business performance and productivity, promote staff health and wellbeing, and increase innovation and creative thinking.

Celebrating diversity

There are many ways your business can celebrate diversity, and one of these is by participating in Harmony Day. This is a day reserved for celebrating our differences, and fostering a culture of inclusiveness, respect and belonging for everyone.

Businesses may take part in this by holding events such as morning teas in which everyone brings a dish from their country of birth, or by inviting guest speakers in to chat at a staff meeting.

If you’d like advice on how to refine your employment offering to attract more diverse candidates, get in touch with our expert recruitment team.