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Another step towards gender equality in leadership roles

12 November 2014

A strong focus on improving the gender diversity of leaders across Westpac Group saw the number of women in leadership positions growing to 44%, up from 42% in 2013, bringing us closer to our ambitious aspirational 50% target by 2017.

This is a core element of Westpac Group’s broader focus on creating a more diverse workforce which embraces people with diverse backgrounds, ages, experiences and genders.

Christine Parker, Group Executive Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, said employee diversity has many benefits for the Group.

“Research shows that a more diverse workforce leads to increased creativity and productivity, attitudes which are more reflective of Westpac’s diverse customer base, and new approaches to problem solving,” she said.

“We’re proud of the continued increase in women in leadership positions. We’re equally proud of the great advances we’ve made in creating a more inclusive workplace for our mature aged employees, our employees with a disability, our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees and those from different cultural backgrounds.

“We will continue to work hard to keep developing a culture in which all employees feel included and valued regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity or sexual preferences,” she said.

Additional diversity highlights in 2014  

  • Gender diversity: Westpac’s increase in women in leadership was backed by ongoing proactive programs to attract women, including those from industries other than banking; advance the careers of high potential women; and improve the way we engage with women returning from parental leave. Westpac also took strong public positions on gender equality through high profile events including our International Women’s Day program and Women of Influence Awards in collaboration with Fairfax.
  • Mature aged employees: As the Group looked to increase participation of mature aged employees (50+ year old), currently 20.9% of the Group’s workforce, a new program, Prime of Life, was introduced. More than 600 employees participated in training and coaching as part of the program, with 75% of attendees taking immediate action to implement career transition priorities. Our approach was recognised with the 2014 Best Employer International Award from US-based AARP, an organisation that advocates for mature employees and citizens around the globe.
  • Indigenous Australian employees: We launched our refreshed Reconciliation Action Plan during the year, encompassing almost 50 commitments, including an aim to employ an additional 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2017.
  • LGBTI employees: Initiatives to create a truly inclusive culture also saw us recognised as Australia's leading bank for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex employee inclusion in the 2014 Australian Workforce Equality Index (AWEI). Our commitment has been demonstrated by a broad campaign to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic language, events to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and roll-out of our inclusive language training program to an additional 700 staff.
  • Employees with a disability: We were also recognised by the Australian Government as the leading employer of people with disability, winning the 2013 National Disability Award for ‘Excellence in Improving Employment Outcomes ’. Around 1,300 of our employees have been through our ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ disability confidence training over the last year.
  • Read about 2014 Sustainability Strategy performance
  • Read more about our sustainable workforce performance in 2014
  • View our interactive scorecard