The world of finance may have traditionally been thought of as a male-dominated industry, but that has clearly been changing in the past few years. A clear example of this is our South Australian team; a small team of three, and an all-female team.
An all-female team not by design, but a team that has come together so well and is kicking goals. We sat them down for a chat to find out what makes them tick and what makes them work so well together.
Meet Debbie Ettridge, Briony Miglis and Lauren Green.
How many people in your office?
There are three of us. We’re the smallest state office AFG has by far but we like to think we punch above our weight, we look after around 200 brokers helping them grow their businesses, now at a combined loan book size of $7 billion.
What do you like about working in an all-woman team, given the traditionally male-dominated industry that is/was finance?
We’ve worked together as a team for nearly three years; we’re all very similar in that we all have a strong desire to win, and we’re all very driven women in our own right. Our egos take second place every time and it’s evident in how we do business. It allows us all to thrive without exception.
We aim high; service is non-negotiable, but we do have down time and we do TAKE the time to celebrate the wins.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages you feel?
There are no downsides whatsoever, it’s not really something we think about, to be honest, it doesn’t even register with us when perhaps it would have 5-10 years ago. There are so many great women working at the helm of very prominent companies on a global level, and here at AFG, we don’t feel that ‘glass ceiling’ at all. If anything, we may have a slightly higher EQ factor, which may be a point of difference; we see this as another tool in our armoury in that we’re able to build really strong relationships at every turn. Our business is 100% relationship driven so that would definitely be one advantage that springs to mind.
Do you think this has helped fuel your brokers’ growth in any way?
Without question. Our team of three has increased our recruitment of new brokers and our existing brokers’ growth year on year since we began. We feel totally empowered to make our own decisions and get the job done the way we see fit, and this is reflective in our business results. One of the most thrilling elements has definitely been the recruitment and growth of young female brokers entering the industry and coming in under the AFG umbrella.
What would you say are the secrets of your success?
We’re all top-notch communicators. We read each other very well, and we have a really strong commitment to our brokers. Nothing is insurmountable and nothing is off the table. If one of our businesses needs our help, we give it. If it’s outside our skill set, we match them up with the perfect person who can help them.
Given we’re a smaller team we’re across all operations of our brokers’ businesses and we’re very connected to the challenges they face and the opportunities right in front of them.
We get it that we need to ‘park our egos’ to integrate effectively. As the saying goes in any team environment we are only as strong as the weakest link. We play to each other’s strengths and when we drop a catch we quickly pick up and keep moving.
We all have a spontaneous sense of humour and we always celebrate our wins with the celebratory glass of bubbles! We also value the support we receive from our life partners and include them regularly for our team catch-ups!
What is it about the mortgage broking game that you enjoy?
The finance industry is an ever-changing one; it’s dynamic, fast-paced and it’s all about finding finance solutions for customers to change their lives in one way, shape or form. Whether it’s funding a house, a business or a dream to travel, the end-game is one that we all get such satisfaction from. The industry has changed so much in recent times, particularly with the opportunities technology has enabled, the buzz factor is still very high on the Richter scale for all of us.