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Do ties make you more successful?: A scientific study (of sorts)

It was impossible to miss the AFR Boss front cover story this week, about the Super Industry’s Super Six – a group of white, suited, middle-aged men, at the top of their game in super.


This article is not about these men, who have no doubt deserved to be showcased as the leaders of their industry. This article is about a missed opportunity to acknowledge other significant achievers in the Super industry, who do not necessarily fit the narrow description above.

The Boss cover, perhaps unintentionally, sends a very powerful message about what leadership and competence looks like in the Super industry. From where we stand, it’s looking very unappealing! We know that ties don’t make you more successful, but do they make you more visible as a leader?

Unlike some other financial products, super is relevant to every working Australian – men, women, people of colour, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, immigrants, the young and the old. These customers all have different needs, different aspirations and goals, and an expectation to be understood. In a time where Australia’s financial institutions are under intense scrutiny for their unethical and illegal dealings, the Boss image does not inspire confidence that lessons have been learned.

We want to capitalise on Boss’ missed opportunity, and draw attention to some amazing people in the Super space, including our client CSF, who’s investment team have a 50/50 gender balance, including Chief Investment Officer, Anna Shelley and senior managers Libby Sparshatt and Emilie Luc. CSF have long been known for their unbiased and robust approach to recruiting staff at all levels, from Call Centre positions to Senior Executives, using psychometric testing. CSF also pride themselves on recruiting for emotional intelligence in all their leadership roles. In fact, CSF Head of Marketing, Communications and Engagement has commented that CSF’s focus on EQ is what attracted her to apply for her role.

The reason I applied for the role at CSF is because they specifically stated they required someone with high EQ! I thought it was exceptional that this was a key requirement for leadership roles. – Awenna Williams, Head of Marketing, Communications and Engagement CSF Pty Limited

As veterans in the psychometric testing industry, we know the impact that cognitive intelligence has on one’s job performance, but we also know how important behavioural traits, such as emotional intelligence, can be in establishing authentic and exemplary leadership – something that CSF seem to have mastered, with gender balance being a key contributing factor.

If you want to know more about recruiting fairly, and without bias, in the financial sector, talk to Testgrid today – together we can work towards better representing the community we serve.