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A number of mortgage firms are holding events to mark International Women’s Day, which this year has the theme of ‘inspired inclusion’. 

Brightstar is holding a variety of activities, which will include a lunch sponsored and hosted by specialist lender Together.

Brightstar says the focus of these activities will be the promotion of diversity in leadership and decision-making processes, something the group says it has championed for a numberof years and now benefits from as a result.  

It points out that historically, women have faced barriers in financial services when seeking leadership and higher-paid roles. It says it has sought to address this through dedicated programmes such as ‘Women into Management’ and ‘New Adviser Programme. Brightstar says these have boosted diversity across the business and led to better decision-making and innovation, as well as greater gender parity.

Brightstar Group chief people officer Clare Jupp says: “The Group continues to place a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion in its entirety and our observance of International Women’s Day is a key event in our ongoing commitment to this. 

“We are proud of what our women contribute and achieve across our Brightstar, Sirius and Solstar businesses, and it is easy for women joining the business to identify role models and find inspiration from the career journeys and achievements of our women.”

Elsewhere Finova is launching its first-ever Women’s Network — an initiative designed to recognise and amplify the contributions of its female workforce, and create a pathway towards leadership positions. 

This network will introduce mentorship programmes and facilitate workshops and training sessions to enhance skills, empower confidence and prepare women for career advancement and leadership roles within the organisation.

Finova says this network will also promote inclusive and safe spaces where women can connect, share experience and build a strong support system.

Meanwhile, lifetime mortgage lender Pure Retirement has sought to shine a spotlight on is female customer base, for IWD, to enhance broker understanding of this important demographic.

It points out that women now make up 64% of all singe life applicants. Its in-depth profiling revealed that almost half of these customer were widowed, 31% were divorced and 16$ were unamrried. Across this cohort the majority (56%) of these female customer opted for a lump sum plan, rather than drawdown. 

Around 27% of female single life applicants used released funds for home improvements in 2023, with 20% releasing equity to repay debts or mortgages, and 10% electing to gift to friends or family. 

Pure’s head of mortgage services Suzanne Latimer says this data highlighted the diverse range of female equity release applicants. “While there’s been considerable research around the retirement provision gulf among men and women, property remains a key tool at the disposal of women to access the life they want, and it’s good to see informed consumers electing to access that underlying wealth to achieve their financial goals in later life across a range of circumstances.”

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