Perpetual Corporate Trust’s Lynsey Thorrington discusses her involvement in Capital Markets and diversity in the sector.
Q: What is your involvement in Capital Markets, and your thoughts on diversity in this sector?
I have worked within debt capital markets in Australia since 2003, and within Perpetual Corporate Trust since 2007.
Being part of an industry with so many visible senior women has been energising. Seeing women hold CEO positions and seats on boards allows you to see that now, more so than ever before, women in leadership is a reality as opposed to a statistic. There are female CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers, and each one of these appointments showcases to women across the industry that, what was once just an agenda item, is now a reality and I think our industry should celebrate that.
Perpetual has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and recognises the value of attracting and retaining employees with different backgrounds, knowledge, experiences and abilities. I have been lucky enough to be part of Perpetual’s Diversity Council for several years and seen some fantastic strives towards a truly diverse workforce.
Perpetual’s commitment to flexible working, its continued focus on cultural diversity and the ongoing work on gender diversity is inspiring.
Q: What have been some challenges relating to diversity over the past year?
COVID-19 and the seismic shift to working from home came with a number of challenges, both for organisations employees.
Working from home whilst caring for dependants, young or old, was a challenge for many, however, across the board I think it has been a positive, with a renewed focus on work life balance.
Across Perpetual many employees told us that whilst some of the challenges were great, the benefits, for many of our male employees in particular, of spending more time with their families and share in the “family workload” has changed their lives for the better. The challenge will be for organisations to continue such flexibility post COVID-19.
Q. What do you think are key challenges for women in financial markets this year?
For many Australian women, lower superannuation balances are a real and pressing concern. Many women take time off to tend to families so their super balance is already lower than comparable males. This, coupled with record numbers of women accessing their super early to help during the COVID19 pandemic, means the retirement positions of Australian women are limited. Perpetual has recently launched a digital platform, Financial Acuwomen, that aims to increase female financial literacy and confidence in investing, and address issues such as the superannuation gap.
Q: What are you most proud of Diversity and Inclusion strategy?
Perpetual has been granted the WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) for past 3 years. In 2017, as part of our annual review of WGEA requirements, Perpetual implemented our Domestic and Family Abuse Policy. We recognised the magnitude in Australia and the devastating impact on the personal and professional lives of those who experience.
With that in mind, we developed our formal policy to support employees who are affected and to try and ensure that all our employees are supported within a safe environment, where all employees can thrive professionally and exceed their potential.
I hope initiatives such as these become commonplace at every Australian organisation and we see the eradication of violence, especially towards women and Aboriginal Australians.