That’s something we are focused on. In addition to enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion programs, each division at ANZ often takes a bespoke approach and tailors initiatives to suit their individual team needs.
Last year in Commercial and Private Banking, we experienced a drop in the number of women in leadership roles. An immediate effort was made to understand the drivers and reinvigorate the discussion about gender equality and our ongoing commitment to flexible working which began in 2015.
Around 330 ANZ leaders pledged to address perceived capability and capacity gaps and focus on initiatives such as mentorships and secondments to create a more balanced talent pipeline.
Since then, the number of women in leadership roles in Commercial and Private Banking has increased almost 3 per cent, including an almost 12 per cent increase in Business Banking.
While it’s been positive to create some momentum, there’s more work to do to understand the problem we’re trying to solve.
Through focus groups ANZ employees shared some factors that impact career progression or retention. Key areas of feedback included flexible work, career breaks and the importance of visible role models.
To address the feedback, which has informed our 2023 priorities, and promote greater leadership opportunities for women in Commercial Banking, we’ve launched a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. This includes several initiatives to support flexible working arrangements and create opportunities to learn from others’ experiences.
Pleasingly, many examples across the division have proved the value of creating flexibility and promoting more women into line roles. In Brisbane, a job -share arrangement has provided two female small business bankers with the opportunity to focus on priorities outside work while continuing to deliver great service to customers.
This arrangement prevented early retirement for one employee and the loss of valuable business knowledge and customer relationships for ANZ.
My advice to organisations looking to increase diversity in leaderships teams is to firstly understand the problem you’re trying to solve.
Talk with your employees about their experiences and the barriers they’re facing. Make it a priority for your management team to solve the challenges they raise.
Lastly, it’s important to articulate the benefits of diversity. We’ve seen a range of personal and commercial benefits including higher customer satisfaction ratings. Work hard to show your teams diversity is a win-win for all.
Isaac Rankin is Managing Director of Commercial and Private Banking at ANZ
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