1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Managing Director of loans.com.au, a company I founded 10 years ago for our parent company, Firstmac. loans.com.au is now one of Australia’s largest online lenders of home loans and car loans. I have a business degree majoring in banking and finance plus nearly 20 years of experience across financial services and information technology. As well as running loans.com.au I am on the board of FinTech Queensland, FinTech Australia and Mangrove Housing.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
Throughout my career women in teaching positions and leaders within organisations I have worked for have pulled me up to allow me to build the career I have today. I think back to school where I studied economics, accounting and maths – and in each of those cases I actually had female teachers. I think I never really questioned that I couldn’t study those disciplines further, because I had female role models who were guiding me along the way. In my career I’ve had female leaders who have encouraged me to pursue roles that have provided me with a skillset that has set me up for the future. With this encouragement, I see myself more of a “Change Manager” in every role that I have done, even my current one of Managing Director of loans.com.au. In the pursuit of, and in the deployment of change, I am constantly ensuring that we are evolving as a company to the benefit of our customers.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
Diversity of thought is the most important reason women need to be in business. You can’t innovate without having different points of view being brought to the table each day when you are in business. Also, it is important to have women in leadership roles, as we bring a very different type of skillset and lead in very different ways, that can benefit our organisations.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
I really believe diversity isn’t a number or a KPI that you should just target. Diversity is about feeling included and feeling safe to speak up at work and give your own point of view.
5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?
I think so much focus has been put on diversity at an executive and board level, we sometimes miss the importance of the foundations. It starts at the very beginning and we need to encourage our girls to pursue studies in STEM and male dominated industries. It not only gives young women more confidence, but it also sets them up for better career opportunities and a pathway to leadership. That’s how we are going to sort out diversity at the top level.