Why having an inclusive culture benefits the broking industry
Connective member, Nichole McManus, Lending Consultant at Provident Lending and Business Solutions, shares her thoughts on why having an inclusive culture benefits the broking industry.
What is your professional background?
I started as a junior when I was 19 with a major automotive dealership in WA and worked there for ten years learning every role in administration until I could not go any higher. I then left my role to have my two boys and when I returned to the workforce at 33, I was employed initially to cover maternity leave in admin at Novated Leasing Company. This is where I got the opportunity to do my Certificate in Finance & Mortgage Broking and become an asset broker. I quickly fell in love with helping consumers finance and maintain their vehicles. It was from here that I went on to complete my diploma and now help my clients with all aspects of finance including personal loans, asset loans and mortgages at Provident Lending and Business Solutions.
What do you love about your job?
I love meeting new people from all walks of life and helping my clients in any loan capacity they require. I love the flexibility that comes with what I do, it makes a great work life balance. I can watch my children at their sports carnivals and school concerts and work later at night if I need too.
How has your experience been as a woman working in the broking industry?
The mortgage and finance broking industry certainly goes a long way to making women feel accepted and valued, I have always worked in a male dominated industry and when I started as a broker, I soon realised that my preconception of an industry dominated by males has never actually felt that way at all. If anything, I feel like women are the power houses in this industry.
Do you feel supported? Valued? Included?
I most definitely feel supported and included, from my peers to my BDMs and of course my aggregator Connective and then the FBAA there is always so much support and inclusion.
Women also have a really good way of helping other women and that is something I value and thrive on.
How do women add value to the industry?
Having both women and men means you benefit from the different points of view and approaches that come from different life experiences, having a culture that includes everyone boosts morale and opportunity, it really gives a sense of team and unity.
I relate it to your doctor or your dentist, sometimes people just have a preference of gender that they prefer to reach out to for help so there needs to be a diversity so that every client can find their person.
What would your message be to young women considering this as a profession?
Do not be afraid of it, there are so many mentors, BDMs, support officers, online platforms to guide you through it all. Believe in yourself first and the rest will just take care of itself in this industry.
Not just young women either but any age, I didn’t find my career passion until the age of 33 and I’m so happy that I have.
How long have you been a member of Connective? How does Connective show support and empower its female members?
I have been with Connective for 18 months and already been invited and attended more events than ever before and that timeline includes ten months of COVID-19. I have always felt included and I have always felt supported especially from Jamie Ontal and Anna Scotter at Connective. Most of my current lender BDMs are women and I have amazing support from them, at times I think they must think I’m annoying, but they never make me feel like a question is not worthy of being asked.
How does the broking industry look to you this year and beyond?
The broking industry in my opinion will only get stronger. With the introduction of the best interest duty in January 2021 this can only be proof of an industry always striving to do best by the consumer.
I believe that everyone benefits from help. Financial decisions can be very overwhelming for clients and that is where a broker can help take as much of the hard work and anxiety out of it for them as we can and more importantly a broker can provide a wider choice.
If you find the right broker for you then you will not just have a professional relationship but often you will find a friend, there is so much trust in the broker/client relationship.