ANZ: Giving talented women the opportunity to develop broad-based banking careers

Each year the Workplace Gender Equality Agency  recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces. Canstar caught up with one of the citation winners, ANZ,  for some details on their win.

The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces – and to be eligible, applicants were required to consult with employees to demonstrate that gender equality initiatives translated into lived experience.

One of the successful companies to achieve a citation for 2015 is ANZ; Canstar caught up with an ANZ spokesperson to find out some more detail.

A: What are some of the ways in which ANZ works to promote gender equality in the workplace?

A: ANZ now requires at least one female to be formally interviewed for every role. To bring a diverse perspective to the decision, the interview process also now requires at least one female interviewer.  [Note: for more information see ].

ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith is one of 22 Australian CEOs who are a Male Champion of Change – which has led to the launch of practical initiatives to achieve gender balance throughout corporate Australia.

We support female leaders and women aspiring to senior roles through our Accelerated Banking Experiences for Women and Notable Women programs, as well as our partnership with Chief Executive Women. And we’ve made strong progress in improving the representation of women in management, achieving our 2015 goal with more than 40 per cent of our women holding management roles, up 1.2 per cent from 2014.

This year ANZ announced it will be making annual $500 lump sum superannuation contributions to permanent and fixed-term female employees in Australia. We also announced an offer of free superannuation advice for people with less than $50,000 in superannuation to help them grow their financial knowledge and confidence.

Q: Can you explain how the Accelerating Banking Experiences for Women program works?

A: ANZ Australia’s Accelerating Banking Experiences for Women program is an initiative designed to give talented women the opportunity to develop broad-based banking careers at ANZ. The program aims to build a breath of experience, confidence and capability across core banking disciplines.

Participants move through three six-month rotations which build practical experience across Frontline, Credit Risk, Operations and Products.

The program also features three leadership development components:

    • Experiential learning – professional and ‘on-the-job’ development
    • Theoretical learning – personal development, and
    • Sponsorship and networking – access to senior leaders in areas outside their current line of business and building extensive networks.

Applications are encouraged from eligible candidates from all states as there is flexibility around the location of the rotations. Candidates must have exceptional future leadership potential, outstanding performance and employment history and a desire to move towards a senior banking leadership position or more complex position in the future.

Since we introduced the program four years ago, fifteen of our talented women have built broad banking experience across a number of core banking disciplines with many moving into senior business leadership roles as a result.

Q: Retaining loyal and committed staff is a goal for any business – do your equality initiatives pay dividends in this regard?

A: We have seen retention of both female and male staff remain constant over recent years. We’ve also seen ANZ’s employee engagement score (measured in our annual employee survey) continue to climb year on year, up 3% to 76% in 2015.

We are pleased that we are retaining female employees at all job levels and will continue to focus on mainstreaming flexible working and creating an inclusive culture to achieve our goal of a gender balanced workforce.

Q: Are there any other workplace changes you would like to see going forward?

A: We see inclusive leadership capability as a key driver of business success. Inclusive leaders can get the best out of diverse workforces. They know how to unlock the value of different perspectives and experiences to drive innovation and transformation.


You can find out more abou the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality here.

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