Christine Hornery, winner of the 2012 Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Female Excellence in Advice Award, says the award should be a clarion call for women to play a greater role in the financial planning industry.

“When I became a financial planner 11 years ago, there were very few women in our profession,” Hornery said, as she accepted the award. “Over the years those numbers have grown, but we still need to attract more women.

“Why? Because we bring a different skill set. We bring – sorry for the guys in the room – but we bring emotion. We listen and we connect with others.

“Do you know that in 80 per cent of households, women make the financial decisions?

“You need a woman working in your business. We need to encourage more women to be in business for themselves. Working as a team, we can encourage more women into our profession.”

The ultimate accolade

Hornery (right) thanked the AFA and the award sponsor TAL for “believing that women have a profound role to play, for making a positive difference in the roles of ordinary Australians and recognising the contributions that we make”.

She beat a strong field of finalists to take out the 2012 award, which was presented at the AFA national conference on the Gold Coast yesterday, and said winning an award judged by peers and colleagues was the ultimate accolade for a professional.

In an interview before yesterday’s win, Hornery told Professional Planner Online that women in the financial planning industry “typically undervalue ourselves”.

“We tend to undervalue the relationship we have with clients, “she said. “So, I think some of the challenges we face are ourselves. Because it’s such a male-dominated profession, it’s hard to have a large voice in what is happening within the profession.

“There’s flexibility, there’s opportunity and there’s reward, so the challenges are more around how the profession is seen. It’s not seen as one of caring and sharing or relationships. It’s more seen as having a product focus than a strategic and advice focus.”

CLICK HERE to read an interview with Christine Hornery.

Look for an in-depth profile of Hornery in the December/January edition of Professional Planner magazine.

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