Women working in finance from across the banking, broking, superannuation, accounting, financial planning and legal sectors were honoured in this year’s Women in Finance Awards.
The Women in Finance Awards, an initiative of Momentum Media, is a national awards program that shines a spotlight on the strength, diversity and innovation that female leadership brings to the professional and financial services in Australia.
More than 1,100 people registered to watch this year’s Women in Finance Awards – the biggest audience yet – held as a live broadcast event on Thursday evening (10 September) and emceed by Jane Caro.
With parties and functions across the nation tuned into the broadcast via Momentum’s THE BALLROOM platform, total viewership for this year’s awards was in the thousands – a huge result and testament to the depth of the sectors represented, including accounting, wealth, mortgages and superannuation.
Julie McKay, PwC partner and gender equality advocate and commentator (gender adviser to CDF and former ED of UN Women NC Australia), gave an inspiring and motivating speech on the inroads being made in gender equality, how COVID-19 is accelerating new ways of working, and the need for a gender quota.
“We need to do a lot in our organisations to address the ongoing structural barriers that exist for women,” she said.
“That’s about ensuring that our performance and reward processes are fair, that our recruitment processes are fair, that we invest equally in onboarding growth and development, and that we’re transparent about that.
“Organisations that publicly report on the gender pay gap on their discretionary bonuses end up being the organisations that make the progress. So, encouraging your organisation to actually be bold and make some of those key decisions transparent will be game changing.
“Finally, we need to stop having coffees with each other. Ongoing mentoring coffee relationships aren’t getting us where we need to be. We need to open doors for each other. We need to share business with each other. We need to refer opportunities to each other.
“Each of us needs a sponsor and should be sponsoring someone. And that might be something to think about tonight... who in this virtual room might be able to help you get your next opportunity, and who in this virtual room, can you help get their next opportunity?” she said.
Women working in finance from across the banking, broking, superannuation, accounting, financial planning and legal sectors were honoured across the remaining 25 categories, with Pascale Helyar-Moray from Super-Rewards (which helps boost super balances with cash rewards from shopping) named the winner of the overarching award, the Women in Finance Excellence Award.
Emma Ryan, deputy head of content at Momentum Media, commented: “The Women in Finance Awards looked a little bit different this year, but the goal of it remains the same – and that is to recognise the outstanding achievements of women in the professional and financial services industry right across Australia.”
She added that the awards program helps identify the “top talent that make up this important and diverse space, each of whom demonstrates a passion for their area of expertise and exudes strong professional performance and leadership capabilities”.
Ryan said that while the year to date had involved many “challenges”, it was “incredibly inspiring” to see how the finalists had “successfully navigated through uncharted territory, providing a stellar example to [their] colleagues and peers”.
She concluded that the awards provided an occasion to not only celebrate the finalists and winners and “mark a job well done, but also as a chance to reconnect with friends and celebrate”, whether in person or virtually.
Momentum Media also recognises the outstanding achievements of women in the real estate industry and in law.
You can find the full winners list of the Women in Finance Awards 2020 here.