Sarah Abood

The government has pulled the plug on further funding the Financial Advice Association’s Women in Financial Planning Mentoring Program, despite the association proclaiming it a success.

The FAAA program sought to match eligible women in the financial advice profession with experienced female mentors.

The previous Coalition government – via the Office for Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – had supplied the program with a $2.2 million grant but will not continue for next year under the current Labor government.

In a media release, the FAAA said the mentoring program concludes after “resounding success”. Professional Planner sought clarification if the association had received feedback from the government on why funding would not continue, but has not received a response by publication.

FAAA chief executive Sarah Abood said that the program has been extremely successful, and it is disappointing that it cannot continue next year.

“I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both mentors and mentees saying they were glad they participated in the program,” she said.

Noting that women only accounted for 22 per cent of financial planners, as well as only 28 per cent of FAAA membership, Abood said the initiative was important not only to encourage more women in the profession, but to retain them.

“As a profession, it is important that we represent the community we serve, and this program shows that demand for female financial advisers is strong,” Abood said.

“We need more of them coming into our profession to help ensure we have enough advisers to serve the needs of the growing number of Australian consumers seeking advice.”

The program paired 132 mentors and mentees in total, with 96 between February to August last year and 36 in March to October.

The program included online training and reading materials for mentors to help guide the mentoring relationship, three webinars attended by mentors and mentees to track progress during the program, and monthly contact between mentors and mentees throughout the program.