Time Management – Retaining Female Talent in Finance

The business case for attracting and engaging talented women in the finance industry is compelling (and will not be explored in this paper) – as demonstrated by the range of initiatives in play at the 4 Big Banks and other financial institutions – including flexible working arrangements; mentoring; lateral recruitment; sponsorship; female talent programs and more.

In addition, well publicised initiatives, such as the ANZ Bank decree that all roles be considered flexible; Westpac’s target for equal representation for women in senior management by 2017; and the CBA and NAB respective targets of 35% women in senior positions – demonstrate that gender diversity is a hot topic in finance.

Everyone is in furious agreement that financial institutions will benefit from greater female diversity. However, a critical issue appears to be missing from the debate – are financial institutions addressing the right pain points to ensure they retain their female talent?

The data contained in this paper suggests that there is more to retaining female talent than offering flexibility, talent programs or even pay equity. Financial institutions need to tap in to the specific, and perhaps more ‘hidden’, challenges faced by their current pool of female leaders and upcoming talent.

One ‘hidden’ pain point for female talent is the ability to effectively manage their time across their work and lifestyle responsibilities. It is rare for a woman to let down her guard at work and raise this as an issue with management. The first most companies will hear about this as a particular struggle for their female talent is when she hands in her resignation.

In April 2016 Kate Christie from Time Stylers interviewed 21 senior Australian women in finance specifically to ascertain the time management challenges they face at work and at home. The data collected provides an insight in to one of the key ‘hidden’ challenges faced by senior women in finance and provides financial institutions with an overview of what their female talent really think.


In April 2016, Kate Christie conducted 21 interviews with Australian female talent in the financial services industry focusing on their ability to effectively manage their time at work and at home.

The following Data was collected:


-Position/ Title

-Hours worked

-Kids/ No kids

-Top 3 Time Management pain points/ challenges

-How they felt about their Time Management pain points/ challenges

-If they could better manage their time, the 3 things they would spend their reclaimed time on

-If they could better manage their time, how would they feel about their future

General Observations:

-100% of participants were senior women in the financial services industry

-100% of participant identified that they were not performing at their best either at work or at home due to their time management challenges

-71% of participants stated they regularly work more hours than they are remunerated to work

-24% of participants stated they had previously ‘opted-out’ of roles/ organisations or were considering opting out of their current role/ organisation due to work pressures

-71% of participants identified that if they had more time, they would use this time to focus on their career development (significantly higher than the second most common response of 52% who would spend the additional time with family), providing a compelling reason for financial institutions to invest in providing their female talent with time management training.

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I am an executive coach and small business coach specialising in time management, productivity, goal setting and life by design.
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Grief and loss taught Kate—a top lawyer turned time management expert for global businesses—life is too short. You need to set then chase outrageous goals. Now.
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At its heart, this book is about sharing my story so that you know you aren’t alone – that there are many women just like you who are reflecting on what’s next.
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