According to Mary Delahunty, who has won Money Management’s Advocate of the Year award, being an advocate is all about fixing structural problems and speaking up on behalf of those who can’t do it themselves.
Delahunty has an extensive experience in advocating on behalf of those who are in less privileged situation. She made an impact by using her position at the company to help establish HESTA’s policy position on family violence. Additionally, she strongly contributed to HESTA’s campaign to place pressure on the federal government to include family violence as an eligible criteria for the early release of superannuation for compassionate grounds.
According to Delahunty, the industry should give priority to fixing the structural problems rather than mentoring.
“The greatest benefit to women it’s not necessarily having a chat about structural problems -it’s actually fixing the structural problems,” she said.
“It’s always helpful to have people around you or others of your gender if you – to encourage your curiosity and ambition. And I’m not sure mentoring delivers that.”
Delahunty also stressed the importance of addressing the large pay gap that the financial services industry is currently struggling with and by implementing the pay equity legislation.
As one of the examples of structural problems Delahunty quoted the difficulties that lay ahead of majority of women wanting to make a progression in their career within the organisations. According to her, one of the things that could help facilitate such a progression would be employers who “know well the value of diversity.
Commenting on her success, she said it was her passion, courage and conviction coupled with a sense of purpose that helped her to get to her current point.