The founder of a brokerage has called on Australia’s financial services sector to embrace corporate social responsibility and address the shifting views of generation Z to ensure its survival.
The generation is estimated at 4.5m Australians born between 1995 and 2009. Founder and principal of Astute Ability Finance Group, Mhairi MacLeod, said Gen Z align themselves with businesses that support the environment and gender diversity.
She added, “Gen Z will want to know more about a lender’s environmental policies than whether they can offer the lowest interest rate on a home loan.
“Gen Z is a new breed of employee and consumer. They care deeply about the planet, sustainability and society. It’s estimated by 2030 they’ll represent 75% of the workforce.
“They’re connected, gather in virtual tribes and want to make their mark on the world, even more so than previous generations did. Their decisions about who to work for and do business with are very much driven by these values.
“If we’re to survive in the financial services industry, particularly in the aftermath of the Hayne Royal Commission, we must commit to social responsibility.
“Through the process of embracing social responsibility we’ll also strengthen our industry, bolster our profile, improve public perception and attract future employees, brokers and clients. It’s time to take action or be left behind.”
MacLeod said policies the financial services should adopt to maintain a strong connection with Gen Z include aligning with lenders that have environmental policies and promote community banks with corporate social responsibility policies in place.
She said, “Financial service businesses should choose socially and environmentally responsible suppliers and undertake work within their local community.
“By embracing the importance of the link between corporate social responsibility and Gen Z, we can continue our growth. We can attract and retain top talent. And we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our customers. But we must take action now, because the change is already here.”
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