Celebrating International Women’s Day!

By Pride Advice

“Although we are celebrating IWD, for Pride Advice it isn’t about quotas or gender equality. I am very proud of the women who work here, they have 100% earned their titles because they are the best humans for the roles.” – Brett Schatto

International Women’s Day is a chance for us all to look back on the progress that’s been made, and look ahead to all that still needs to be achieved. In the financial world, the journey is only just beginning.

Quite simply, our industry needs more women. In 2018, 25 per cent of Australia’s financial advisers were women. Last year, that figure fell to 22 per cent. This is despite the fact that more Australians than ever are seeking the emotional intelligence, industry knowledge and communication skills of a female financial adviser.

At Pride Advice, we have nine financial advisers on staff, five of whom are women – up from two in 2022. Though immensely proud of it, it’s a ratio we’re always seeking to improve, not only for the sake of gender equality, but because of the unique perspectives women bring to our industry. Although we are celebrating International Women’s Day, for Pride Advice it isn’t about quotas or gender equality. I am very proud of the women who work here, they have 100% earned their titles because they are the best humans for the roles!

Why the finance industry needs more women

It’s a stubborn myth that financial advice is about sales. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s all about building relationships, honing your emotional intelligence and learning to communicate effectively to seek the best outcome for your client. Those seeking financial advice want no-nonsense explanations, devoid of jargon, and an adviser who offers a high level of interaction and a willingness to share knowledge.

This list of attributes, of course, doesn’t exclude men, but the softer skills that are so highly prized in a financial planner can be more common among women.

A growing cohort of financially-successful women is also adding to the demand. Universities pump out more female graduates than men – 55 per cent to 45 per cent – and there’s also the reality of baby boomers bequeathing money to their children equally. In other words, more women are dealing with more money, and many want to access the experience and empathy that a female financial adviser can provide.

Is the finance industry a good place for women to work?

We strongly believe that it is. You get to be the guiding light for so many people in a part of their lives that is incredibly impactful. Not only that, the knowledge you gain gives you more independence and control over your own life.

And recent statistics seem to indicate that women in financial advice are enjoying their work. On average, they are better qualified and receive higher quality scores than their male counterparts. Also, the flight score analysis, which determines the likelihood of an adviser to leave the industry, is at 2.8 per cent for women, compared to 6.7 per cent for men.

In other words, female financial advisers are very well qualified, knowledgeable, receive high quality feedback and are very likely to stay in the profession.

The Pride Advice women

Over 160 years of experience- that’s what the women of Pride Advice bring to the team, more than 50 of those accumulated within our doors. They’re numbers we’re proud of and eager to see grow. They encompass thirteen staff across a variety of roles, including financial planning, CSO, paraplanning, administration, associate, marketing and management. Their influence and expertise touches all aspects of Pride Advice.

We believe our success in this area comes down to our culture, which has, to a large degree, been shaped by the women who work here. As you’ll see below, it’s the team environment that our staff cherish the most, as well as the opportunities for education and career progression.

Ghenwa Alaeddine – Head of Operations

Ghenwa has 14 years of experience in the industry, all at Pride. She began as a receptionist when we were operating out of Blackwood with only four staff. As we’ve grown, Ghenwa has moved through a variety of roles, including CSO, paraplanner, practice manager, and is now our Head of Operations. Her experience has proven invaluable, and there’s no coincidence that in her time with us Pride has grown to a team of twenty across Australia and the world. Ghenwa particularly appreciates the flexibility as a mum that our organisation provides and takes great joy in our culture that she has helped nurture.

Renay Richardson – Senior Financial Adviser

One of our five female financial planners, Renay’s first role in the industry was as a receptionist back in 1994. She has also been a CSO, worked in fund management, and balanced a busy career with a growing family. Financial planning has always appealed to Renay, as it allows her lots of face time with clients and gives her the best opportunity to help them achieve their best possible outcome. She’s currently undertaking further study due to changes in the financial industry, and looks forward to providing life-changing advice for many years to come.

Tracey Boam – Senior Financial Adviser

Tracey, another of our financial planners, began studying for the role back in 2003 with two young children at her feet. Like Renay, Tracey is also undertaking further study to meet new education requirements. For her, financial planning is about the clients; it’s about getting them what they need so they can get their lives in order. Her passion is helping women gain better financial independence.

Astrid Lynch – Senior Financial Adviser

Astrid is one of our senior financial advisers, with over 17 years of experience in the corporate world, 12 of those in financial planning. She is truly passionate about helping people achieve their dreams. No matter a person’s ambitions, Astrid firmly believes anything is achievable, no matter how much a person has.   

Kay Murray – Senior Financial Adviser

Kay has been a guiding light in the financial world for many people. In an industry infamous for its jargon, Kay loves nothing more than decoding and translating financial matters into straightforward and easily-understood concepts. Her clients have long appreciated her no-nonsense, expert advice; they feel reassured and confident that their finances are working for them in the most optimal manner.  

Alicia Chamberlain – Client Services Team Leader

Alicia’s journey at Pride began coming up seven years ago, when Brett Schatto acquired the business she was working at part time while studying for her Bachelor of Business. From her position in admin, she moved through to CSO, associate, marketing and now is Client Services Team Leader. Alicia loves the opportunities Pride has given her to learn and grow in the financial industry, and is passionate about her role helping colleagues develop strategies for their clients. In 2022 Alicia was elected to partake in the AZNGA Future Leaders Program and has been re-elected as a candidate for 2023. She looks forward to continuing her career development and supporting her team. 

Vicki Eickhoff – Paraplanning Team Leader

Vicki brings nine years of industry experience to our paraplanning division as Team Leader . She moved here to study and relocated permanently, moving into the financial world immediately after achieving her university degree. Vicki is a problem solver. She loves working through financial models, crunching the numbers, discovering the best strategies and achieving the best outcomes for the clients. Vicki loves the opportunities that working with a business like Pride Advice provides. 

Angela Tolari – Paraplanner

With 18 years in the industry, Angela brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Pride, where she’s been for the past decade. Starting out as a receptionist, Angela has filled a number of roles, including personal assistance to financial planning directors, CSO and now paraplanner. She moved from our Adelaide office to our Sydney office, and treasures our team, our values and the culture we’ve built. Angela particularly values the opportunities to learn, develop skills and gain experience that Pride Advice offers.

Nirva Stead – Senior Client Services Officer

Nirva is a fresh face within the financial industry, her three years of experience having been accumulated entirely at Pride. Having started out as our receptionist, she has progressed through admin and is now a CSO. Currently, Nirva is studying for a Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning), and is working towards her five year goal of becoming a financial planner. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her new dog Nala.

Jennah Murray – Receptionist

Jennah is our receptionist in our Adelaide office, which she joined three years ago after crossing over from the retail industry. After 15 years as a retail assistant and manager, Jennah felt the need for new challenges that still allowed her to make full use of her excellent customer service skills. She’s an integral part of the team, and her enthusiastic and welcoming face at the front desk every day of the working week is as much a comfort to our clients as it is to her colleagues.

Deanna Barbaro – Client Services Officer

Deanna joined Pride two years ago after working at a much smaller firm (her and one other) that focused only on risk insurance. She has loved being a part of a larger team and learning about more aspects of financial advice and the holistic approach we take at Pride. Always looking to accumulate more knowledge, Deanna wants to move into a management role in the future.

Andi Forte – Client Services Officer

Andi may have only been at Pride for three years, but she’s spent the past 26 years in a variety of client-facing roles. Straight out of school, she began work at McDonald’s at 17 before moving into the travel industry. She loved her time there and loved making a difference to people’s lives. Like a lot of people, when COVID hit, Andi decided to make a change and joined the financial industry, in which she now works as a CSO with us. She’s brought the same passion for high-quality customer service and our clients are extraordinarily grateful for it.

Janet Pawlak – Client Services Officer

Janet has been in the finance world since 1999, working in credit risk management and insurance broking. After taking time off to raise a family, she made the move to financial planning and joined the Pride Advice team last year. Janet has always enjoyed the client-facing side of the industry, both the interaction and the problem solving. As one of our CSOs , Janet’s attention to detail and work ethic are highly prized, and she enables a seamless and enjoyable experience for both clients and colleagues.

Carol Yates – Client Services Officer

Carol came to the financial industry a bit later in life and after some uninspiring encounters with financial planners. With traditional retirement age not far away, Carol decided to dive headlong into the financial industry and educate herself on crucial and complex issues such as superannuation. Her story is an illustration of how some women can find the financial advice world frustrating and unapproachable. Carol is passionate about offering women a different experience, and sharing as much knowledge as she can communicating complex matters in an understandable way.  

Joanna Truong – Senior Associate

Jo brings 16 years of banking and finance experience to the team, ten years of it spent with us at our Sydney office. She has the biggest claim to fame of any person at Pride, having opened Guy Sebastian’s first bank account many years ago. While she may no longer get to rub shoulders with the glitterati quite as much as she once did, as senior associate, the support she provides to our financial planners is absolutely invaluable and she’s a treasured member of the team.

The future is bright

Pride Advice will forever be in debt to the women who have shaped it and turned it into the organisation it is today. We look forward to the career progression and growth of our team, and sharing these successes with you along the way.