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The Victorian State Government & Westpac tackle unconscious bias


Westpac first bank to join pilot study to test anonymised CVs


Westpac announced today it will partner with the Victorian State Government to tackle unconscious bias in recruitment by piloting an anonymous applications program across the Westpac Group.


Commencing late 2016, the program will see an applicant's name and gender blanked out from their CV to help counter any potential bias during the recruitment process and follows a similar approach to the Name-Blind Recruitment Strategy introduced for the British Civil Service.


Speaking at the Victorian Government's launch of the initiative, Ainslie van Onselen, Westpac Group's Director of Women's Markets, Inclusion and Diversity said Westpac was proud to be the first bank to be involved in the pilot study.


"We know a diverse workforce brings together varied perspectives, dynamic solutions and better decision-making. This initiative is a natural extension to the work we do with our senior leaders, providing internal recruiting and unconscious bias training for hiring managers.


"Minimising bias in the recruitment process also supports our aspirational target of having 50 per cent Women in Leadership by 2017, which at the end of our last financial year was tracking well at 46 per cent. It also supports our strategic Inclusion & Diversity imperative around attracting, retaining and growing unique talent," Ainslie added.  


"As Australia's first bank with a business unit exclusively dedicated to supporting women, we are passionate about inclusion and diversity programs that take steps towards an equal future for all Australians."


Westpac will trial the pilot within business units where improvement could be made in the number of female applications to shortlist conversion rate.. This will be done by removing a series of personal identifiers for applications including name, gender, culture, school, email and interests. Results will be assessed against a control group to ensure the results don't negatively impact the Group's Women in Leadership objectives.


The Victorian Government pilot study will be implemented within a number of public and private sector organisations towards the end of 2016.


Find out more about Westpac Group's Inclusion & Diversity strategy and approach: