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International Women’s Day | What it means to us

Last Friday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, and in honour of all the amazing women in our lives, we had a small celebration. Our aim was to raise money for the Esther Foundation, who educate, encourage, empower and enrich young women with self-worth, leadership skills and the confidence to lead successful lives within the community.

We are proud to say that we are contributing $2250 to this wonderful cause.

The Capital Partners team includes several remarkable women, some you may have met and others who are working away behind the scenes. In this edition we would like to profile three of these lovely ladies.

Serena West















Kathryn Creasy

Kathryn Creasy
















Emma Zwaan

Emma Zwaan

Serena West | Principal of Risk Insurance

Serena's enthusiasm for helping people and her dedication to ensuring they get the best outcomes during times when they most need it, is evident in everything she does. Serena has been with Capital Partners for five years, and as busy as she always is, she has found time over the last two years to mentor Advisers through the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). Last year Serena concentrated that mentorship on young female advisers, helping them to progress their careers.

“I see International Women's day as an opportunity to reflect on past improvements and future opportunities.  In my role I often see women who are so incredibly busy that they get side-tracked with all the things that make up life, and they don’t get around to looking after their own finances and insurance.

Women need to be more involved in the decisions that impact their lives. They can be left vulnerable if they allow other people to take control and make all the decisions, this can leave them in a difficult position in the future.

I would love to see more women, from a young age, be comfortable with money and be financially literate, so that they have flexibility when they need it, and are not compromising things that are special to their heart.”

A woman who has inspired me

Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley, a philanthropist and pioneer, and mother to an autistic son.

In the early days she went by the name Steve as she found this advantageous in a male-dominated business world. As the Founder of an early IT company, Stephanie employed only women until the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to do so! She made a lot of money when she sold her company, over half of which she gave away to various causes. I admire her for applying her talent for the benefit of others. And for being passionate and active.

Advice to my younger self

Take more risks in life and business! The earlier you make mistakes, the sooner you can overcome and learn from them. Be confident in who you are. Life is not about being perfect, it about being authentic!

An interesting fact

I was recently in Switzerland, a country I had always thought to be progressive and fair, so I was very surprised to learn that women only got the right to vote from 1991.

Kathryn Creasy |  Principal | Wealth Adviser

Having commenced her career in marketing, Kathryn transitioned into financial services, initially in stockbroking, and then, after realising the profound impact that good advice and planning can have on people’s lives, moved into comprehensive financial planning. She now works with a range of different clients and has an interest in helping women in transition, such as separation or bereavement of a spouse.

Kathryn is passionate about financial literacy and empowering women to take control of their personal finances, and in 2018 chaired the FPA’s Women in Wealth committee in WA.

“To me International Women's Day is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate. It’s not that long ago that women had to quit their job when they got married or have their husband’s permission to apply for a passport. The fact that my generation will never face that inequality is due to some amazing people (women AND men) who came before.”

 The most pressing concerns facing the women I work with

Firstly, time out of the workforce to have children as well as the gender pay gap is having a huge impact on a woman’s superannuation balance at retirement. We need to be educating women about personal finance so that they can plan for these things from their first pay."

Also, women tend to defer the responsibility for the household finances to their husband, and invariably at some point in their lives due to accident, illness, marriage breakdown, or death (the ladies tend to live longer!) they will need to take over, and they’ve lost the skills. So again, education and playing an active role in the family’s financial life is important.

 A woman who has inspired me

I saw Dame Quentin Bryce speak a few years ago and was in awe of her achievements and her grace. She answered all the handwritten letters that were sent to her while she was Australia’s Governor General, with handwritten letters of her own – it’s so rare to have that level of connection these days, I admire her commitment and engagement with the people who reached out to her.

An interesting fact

Women had to have their husband’s permission to get a passport in Australia until 1983, that is during my lifetime, I find it so outrageous.

Advice to my younger self

This is the same advice I would give to any young woman. Choose study, a job, or a career that you love, and if you don’t love it anymore, change as quickly as possible. Build yourself an amazing reason to get out of bed in the morning, make sure that you always feel like you’re making a worthwhile contribution. I see too many friends prolonging their time in a mediocre job waiting for something - pregnancy, redundancy, an opportunity that never comes… Find something that you love so it can add to your life as much as all the other things around it.

Emma Zwaan | Associate Adviser

Emma joined Capital Partners nearly two years ago and has been a wonderful addition to our team. Her outstanding work was the impetus for Capital Partners to put Emma forward for the Financial Planning Association Awards in the category of Paraplanner of the Year, 2018. Emma was chosen as one of three finalists in this category, a remarkable achievement!

“I think traditionally International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the history of women and the endeavour for equality amongst men and women, in all aspects of life. However, as we move on through the ages, I believe it is a day to remind us that women should empower other women and support each other instead of crushing each other for power and recognition.”

A woman who has inspired me

There are three women who have entered my life in recent years which I could not separate, and all equally deserve acknowledgement for their inspiration. These women have reshaped the way I think about myself, my career and the type of life I want to lead. They have inspired me to be the best version of me, not just for myself but for those around me.

I work with a team of incredible people (both men and women), however Kathryn Creasy, Charmaine Lamprecht and Serena West are three of the most inspirational and empowering women I have ever met. These women all have their own story of how they came to be with Capital Partners but are all women who share some incredible qualities.

They are sophisticated women who have such a positive and empowering energy around them. The presence of strong, positive women has an extremely positive impact on a work place. These women are breaking the mould in a male dominant industry and stepping up to enrich and educate others.

They allow themselves the be the boldest versions of themselves and in doing so empower others around them to do the same. These women are selfless and some of the most supportive women I have ever met, they don’t look to step on others but to build everyone around them up.

These women are proud and have such a passion for what they do that it is contagious. I am privileged and grateful to work with them.

Advice to my younger self

You didn’t get where you are by accident, keep working hard when times are testing, and remember to celebrate your achievements in life. Those tough times won’t last forever but your wins, no one will ever be able to take away from you!

An inspirational quote

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

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