Remaining committed to your career choice and not giving up when the going gets tough coupled with passion towards what you do were some of the key attributes that helped Esther Althaus take Money Management and Super Review’s Pro Bono award for its Women in Financial Services Awards.
After establishing Perspective Financial Services in 2003, where she was the sole principal of the business, admin person and coffee maker in one, Althaus began her journey towards carving out herself a place across the financial services sector.
However, she quickly realised that in a male-dominated environment, being a single mother with a young family was not really working in her favour.
“I was determined not to be put off by that attitude and persisted in making contacts in the industry,” Althaus said about her beginning in the industry.
“It is relevant to note that the business development manager was female and [she was] the first woman in my professional journey, including my entire education, who supported, mentored and, more importantly, believed in me.”
Sixteen years later Althaus, who now runs a business that services many different demographics, has made a name for herself in the community as an adviser who promotes and supports the interests of women when it comes to financial literacy and empowerment.
Althaus regularly runs workshops for women during which she reaches out to broader community and makes sure that each party are involved as far as financial planning is concerned. She said that her presentations usually consisted of three key elements.
“One is why it is important for women to understand money, a second section is to talk about some concepts that they should be thinking about and the third part is actually promoting financial planning as a career option,” she said.
When asked what should still be done in order to increase women’s role in the financial services, Althaus said that women should put themselves out there.
“We need to look out for the opportunities to put ourselves out there to be able to demonstrate to the industry and to the general public that women can do this, women can understand finance, women can make decisions about money, women can help other people make decisions about their money,” she said.
“We can have the campaigns going from banks to financial institutions promoting women in a variety of different things but essentially we need the women who work with banks to be out there telling people what we do.”