Marthes Pattman is a Member Education Manager in Canberra.
Marthes’ first job was at a bank in 1995. From there she moved on to financial planning and specialised in insurance. Three years ago, she joined HESTA as a Member Education Manager. “Joining HESTA was the best decision I’ve ever made,” says Marthes. “HESTA is an organisation that cares about members and I’m very fortunate that our members are such lovely people to deal with day to day.”
Being a woman who has worked hard to achieve her goals means Marthes can appreciate the members she helps. “80% of our members are female, so me being a middle- aged woman who worked my way up from a Customer Service Officer at the State Bank of New South Wales into financial advice is life experience that you just can’t beat. When I speak to members, I’m able to utilise my life experience to help understand their situation, which really resonates with them,” says Marthes.
Education is important
For Marthes, her drive to educate members is due to personal experience. “It’s so important for me to help members gain financial literacy, and this is especially true for women,” says Marthes. “A lot of women take time out of the workforce, or they work in casual positions. I often use myself as an example – when I started in retail in 1986, super was around but it didn’t mean much to me. I was young and just out of school. If someone had taken the time to educate me, it could have made a huge impact. All they had to say was, ‘this is what superannuation means for you… if you put $10 a week extra into your super, this is what retirement will look like,” says Marthes.
“I often say to members that it’s never too late to become more engaged in your super. Contribute what you can afford, it doesn’t matter how big or how small.”
Marthes sees her role in member education being important at all stages of a members’ life, but especially when members are heading towards retirement. “Retirement is a key time where I can help members to understand the services that we provide. They can meet with a HESTA Superannuation Adviser and gain advice at no cost. This is a huge benefit our members can access at a crucial time of their life,” says Marthes.
Going the extra mile
Helping HESTA members in whatever way she can brings Marthes immense personal satisfaction. “I spoke to a lovely member the other day who had gotten himself into a little bit of credit card debt. As a HESTA Income Stream member, he was receiving his payments annually, but he needed to change this frequency in order to get on top of his bills,” says Marthes.
“I was speaking to him on the phone and tried to talk him through the process of changing his payment frequency via his online account. However, he was having some problems doing this, so I sent him a form to fill out which he then returned directly to me. He emailed me the next day thanking me for helping him out, but for me, that’s just doing my job and it’s a job that I love,” says Marthes.