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ANZ – Empowerment in Action

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2015
Winner: Empowerment Award

ANZ – policies to drive change and empower women

From ideas to action – ANZ is making sure it creates real changes and addresses gender equity issues by developing targeted policies and initiatives.

ANZ’s aim is to ensure women are supported and empowered throughout their career, that work-life balance is a focus for everyone…

Better gender balance – empowering women

Regular analysis showed that less women were applying for internal promotions and that this in turn was affecting ANZ’s future pipeline of female leaders. Here’s how the Bank responded….

ANZ has developed a suite of initiatives aimed at supporting women in the workforce and created appropriate policies and frameworks to encourage more women into management roles.

  • Targeted Recruitment
    The organisation has created targeted recruitment policies which specify one female must be shortlisted for every role, and participate in all interview panels.
  • Policy for Talent Programmes
    Other initiatives undertaken include 50/50 gender split for Talent Programmes and Graduate and Generalist Banker programmes, and personal support and call to action for gender balance by ANZ executives.
Better balance

Life and work don’t fit into neat little boxes. ANZ acknowledged this with policy changes that keep career opportunities open during parental leave.

  • Parental Leave
    Female employees are offered increased support throughout their parental leave, with access to education and networking events including Return to Work workshops.
  • Leave Options
    They are also provided additional paid Parental Leave options such as 18 weeks’ salary top up to full pay and accrual of annual leave at full pay whilst on parental leave.
  • All Roles Flex
    In 2015, ANZ introduced the concept of All Roles Flex – all roles must now be considered able to be performed flexibly and any barriers be actively dismantled. This applies to all roles across the ANZ group and is underpinned by training on making flexibility work for teams with practical guidance and support tools for both managers and employees.
Gender equity: it’s about you

ANZ isn’t relying on quotas to achieve gender equity. To ensure senior leaders in the business remain focused on increasing female representation, diversity measures form part of their targets and key objectives.

A key part of our diversity agenda working is getting male buy-in to the problem and the solutions.

ANZ senior leaders are championing this by endorsing the diversity agenda and framing it at a personal, moral and business level.

  • Personal: I want my daughter to get ahead in life and not be held back because she’s a female.
  • Moral: New Zealand is an egalitarian society where people are judged on their intelligence, hard work and character and not on superficial things like the colour of their skin, their religion, who they decide to fall in love with or whether they wear trousers or a dress.
  • Business: half our customers are women and the more views at the decision table the better the decision will be.

Visibility for women’s expertise in business and finance

In 2012, women accounted for only 10% of the commentary made by business leaders in both business and finance stories across the media. ANZ saw this as an opportunity to empower their senior women to lift their visibility and share their expertise externally.

  • Better Recognition
    Through its Notable Women programme it now trains senior executives to be recognised as an expert in their field and to build skills and confidence around contributing to internal and external forums and communication platforms and events.

The many initiatives that have been established to empower women at ANZ are working, with success in the hiring and promotion of more talented women since implementing this proactive approach.

  • Deeper Talent Pool
    ANZ has worked hard to develop a deeper talent pool, removing bias from recruitment policies and securing the best possible person for a role because there is more talent to choose from, leading to diversity of thought and greater variety of leadership styles.
  • Attracting and retaining top talent
    ANZ wants to see all their employees develop to their full aspirations and potential. The outcome? Gender equity and a recipe for attracting and retaining the top talent.

“Gender equity should matter to us all. ANZ is tapping into the different motivators for its employees to come on board”.

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