How ANZ are leading the way on gender diversity

by Mike Wood11 Jun 2021

There are plenty within our industry to champion women in finance, but in terms of walking the walk, there aren’t many better than Simone Tilley.

Tilley is General manager of retail broker at ANZ, and the perfect person to talk to Australian Broker about the bank’s Doyenne Program, which seeks to provide a platform for female brokers.

Tilley was one of the founders back in 2018, but her story goes back much further than that.

“I began my journey in agribusiness, lending money to farmers,” she told our print magazine. “It was a very male-dominated domain at the time. In many cases I was the first female bank manager the farmers had had in their lives.

“For ANZ, it is more than just an issue of gender equality; it’s about accessing the talent, markets and economic opportunities that gender equality brings. It makes sense for our workforce to reflect the communities we serve. This will help us unlock opportunities through better serving our communities and female customers.”

“Although more work is needed to address the causes of these barriers, I think there has been positive change delivered through greater awareness and education. There is now an emerging group of inspirational female brokers who are courageously sharing their own stories as to how they have overcome traditional barriers. In some cases, the barriers were themselves and not believing they could take the next step.”

“The importance of sponsors and peer-to-peer networks has proven to be instrumental in the way women feel supported, particularly at times when they may be at a critical turning point in their business and require independent reassurance.

“While the needs of men and women with respect to running a business are very similar, given the strong disparity in the industry, some women are naturally daunted by the lower representation and perhaps curious as to how they will be set up for success.

“The media also has an important role to play, actively seeking out a balanced voice across a wide spectrum of the market so the market sees and, most importantly, values equality.”

This is an extract from a story in the latest edition of Australian Broker. For the full story and more see the magazine which hits desks on Monday, 14 June.