For the fourth year running, leading financial post graduate education provider, Macquarie Applied Finance Centre (MAFC) has launched its acclaimed Women’s Mentoring Program in conjunction with National Australia Bank (NAB).
The program aims to address the imbalance of female participation in senior management in financial services. It does this by equipping aspiring female finance leaders with the tools they need to reach their full potential by pairing up-and-coming early-career female MAFC students with female senior NAB leaders.
Director of Macquarie Applied Finance Centre, Anne Cooper said, “Increasing the number of women in senior roles in the banking and finance sector goes beyond just gender diversity, it is also imperative from a competitive perspective.”
“Research has shown that companies with a higher number of women in senior and board positions tend to have stronger financial performance and a more stable workforce. It also goes beyond just having the numbers. It’s also about creating a workplace culture where everyone feels confident, valued and able to contribute,” she added.
All mentors in the NAB/MAFC Women’s Mentoring Program are senior-level female finance professionals from within NAB who volunteer to inspire the students to consider the range of work opportunities in the banking and finance sectors.
The program is led by Danny Fischer, General Manager Client Solutions and Advisory at NAB, who comments that the mentees are selected based on their life and work experiences. Each applicant’s area of professional interest is matched as closely as possible with a mentor’s area of expertise.
“We are incredibly supportive of Macquarie’s master of applied finance program and the calibre of students that we mentor- indeed, mentoring is very relevant in this industry.”
Program mentor, Lynn Donohue, Senior Consultant Risk at NAB believes mentoring programs are a key element in helping nurture and inspire young women in finance to reach for senior roles.
“Unconscious bias and a lack of diversity can be issues within the banking industry. These barriers need to be clearly identified and systematically broken down. Women need to learn the value of seeking out connections and actively seeking strategic opportunities,” said Ms Donohue.
“Right now, banks are extremely supportive of smart, ambitious women so there is more opportunity than ever before. It’s an exciting time for women in banking and finance,” she added.
The NAB/MAFC program will run for six months, finishing in November 2016.
Mentors and mentees will meet one-to-one during this period, participate in larger group sessions and will have opportunities to meet and learn from other NAB executives and lines of business, as well as other program participants.
For more information on the program visit www.mafc.mq.edu.au