Our gender equality journey started early, with Westpac being the first company in Australia to introduce paid parental leave in 1995, and partner leave 3 years later. In 2010 we were the first private-sector company to pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave and in 2016 the first Australian bank to recognise paid parental leave and return-to-work income in home lending decisions.
We’ve continued to make progress – setting and achieving gender targets for our leadership ranks, creating a strong culture of flexibility and building financial literacy for women through Ruby Connection. We have also introduced a range of dedicated policies and support for parents, carers, people transitioning to their affirmed gender and people experiencing domestic and family violence.
We were the first bank to publicly commit to the aspirational target of having 50% of our leadership roles held by women, which we first achieved in 2017 and have maintained since.
Our commitment to gender equality continues through our FY21 gender objectives to have:
- Maintain 50% Women in Leadership
- At least 40% women in our Senior Executive1 population
- At least 40% women on our Board of Directors
- Maintain no less than 50% women in our workforce generally
How we embrace gender equality
- Paid parental leave: our parental leave policy is both gender neutral and can be taken flexibly, allowing both parents the opportunity to take time out of work to take on the important role of caring for their child.
- Support for parents and carers: we partner with Parents at Work and Carers NSW to provide our people with resources and support to help them succeed in both their work and home life – whether they are caring for young children, their elderly parents or loved ones with a disability or serious illness, or they are about to start their journey – planning to start a family or preparing for or returning from parental leave.
- Flexible working: our ‘All in Flex’ approach means all our people can get access to a range of flexibility options to suit their personal lifestyle needs
- Gender transition leave: we want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves at work, no matter their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. Which is why we provide support and paid leave to people transitioning to their affirmed gender at work.
Career Development & Recognition
- We offer a wide range of development programs to help women grow their career, including Making My Mark, Women on the Move and our Equilibrium program – where we recruit female talent from non-financial services industries into the Group along with a cohort of high-potential female leaders from within the bank to enhance their career trajectory in bold new ways.
- The ‘Women of Influence’ category of our CEO Awards recognises our own female employees who are making an outstanding contribution to our business, customers and local communities.
- We were the first bank to dedicate a unit specifically to the success and development of Australian women through the Ruby Connection website, which aims to improve financial literacy for all women and girls
Awards and Citations
- In 2020 we were included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the 4th consecutive year, recognising our commitment to gender equality on a global scale
- We were awarded Employer of the Year at the 2016 Women in Banking and Finance Awards
- The Financial Alliance for Women has recognised Westpac Group as pioneers in gender equality in their recent report – The Road to Reaching 50% Female Leadership
1 Senior Executives defined as our Group Executives and General Manager population