Instead of Looking at Barriers, We’re Thinking: What are the Opportunities?

Instead of Looking at Barriers, We’re Thinking: What are the Opportunities?

In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024, Viridian Financial Group (VFGL) took the opportunity to put a spotlight on this year’s theme of “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” to celebrate and advocate for further equitable landscape, particularly within the financial services sector in Australia.

“It’s a good day to reflect how far women have come in financial services in Australia… Today, I’m delighted to see a significant increase in female representation in the financial services industry,” Chief Risk Officer Kasia Gascoigne opened when asked what International Women’s Day meant to her in 2024 by Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director Abigail Barnard.

In Australia, while there’s been a rise in workforce participation amongst women, they continue to face hurdles. These include gender pay gaps and disparities in superannuation. It is apparent now, more than ever, to push for better financial literacy and the implementation of more progressive reforms, such as tax rebates for primary (family) care leave breaks, to bridge the superannuation gap between men and women.

This prompted female advisers at Viridian to launch ‘Pave The Way’, a series of workshops designed to empower women by enhancing their financial acumen, well-being, and confidence.

For IWD this year, we were honoured to be joined by Maryum Chaudry and Payal Tiwari from InTouch. Established in 1984, InTouch has supported over 30,000 women from more than 100 countries, offering in-language and in-culture assistance. It encourages volunteering and fundraising to support its programs and advocates for awareness and responsiveness to those facing challenges.

Chaudry and Tiwari highlighted the multifaceted nature of women’s roles and that embracing a non-linear career path should be the new normal. ” You can’t be a super person… something’s got to give, give yourself grace,” Tiwari added, as they shared insights from their journeys on how self-advocacy and mentorship have been pivotal in allowing them to balance their personal and professional lives.

Chaudry and Tiwari also highlighted the uniqueness of everyone’s journey, stressing the importance of seeking opportunities and the right people that resonate with our aspirations. They advocate for women to have both mentors and sponsors, with the distinction of a mentor as someone who provides guidance and advice and sponsors who advocate within the workplace more strategically.

This IWD, VFGL invites everyone to engage in this meaningful dialogue, promoting inclusion and diversity in all work and life aspects. By volunteering with inTouch or participating in the Pave The Way program, individuals can make a significant impact and empower themselves and others toward a more equitable future.

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