Think HBR

Breaking the mould: fostering diversity

Emma Mos and Tina Battye
Women make up just 9% of all registered liquidator professionals in Australia.
However, at local insolvency company, Jirsch Sutherland, the integration of flexible workplace practices and mentoring opportunities has seen an increase in women choosing to enter or remain in the sector.
Established in 1984 the specialist insolvency practice has grown to be a major provider of insolvency, turnaround and forensic accounting to companies across Australia and New Zealand. The Newcastle office is headed up by three partners; Lloyd Kerr, Bradd Morelli and Stewart Free who direct a team of 11 associates, nine of which are female, including senior managers Tina Battye and Emma Mos.
Partner, Bradd Morelli said that gender equity was an essential part of the firm’s commitment to growth and diversity. “At Jirsch Sutherland equity is not about having the numbers, it’s very much about providing legitimate ways for women to pursue and maintain career pathways. There are a large number of women working in senior roles across the firm’s seven practices,’ Mr Morelli said.
“The firm actively encourages and supports the development of talented women leading to the recruitment and retention of more female team members. This approach also created a highly successful mentoring program available for younger women who are forging their careers in the firm,” he said.
“Importantly it is also about offering flexible and part-time working options that best fit in with the needs and lifestyles of our team, particularly those returning to work after having families,” he said.
Senior Manager Tina Battye said that the insolvency profession was a rewarding and interesting career path that was enhanced by adding formal mentoring and support programs. 
“We are passionate about supporting others in the profession to consider a career in insolvency. Mentoring is such a rewarding experience and is just one way we can support and encourage younger women who are looking at pursuing a career in our profession,” Ms Battye said.