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Indigenous Australian parity exceeded

9 November 2016

Westpac announced today that the proportion of its employees who self-identify1 as Indigenous Australian had reached more than 4%. This is greater than the proportion in the broader Australian population as estimated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics based on 2011 Census data.

Siobhan Toohill, Westpac Group Head of Sustainability said this major milestone reflects the work initiated in line with the Group’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

“One of the most pleasing aspects of this outcome is that it reflects the work underway to create a more inclusive workplace environment in which people feel confident and proud to disclose their diverse backgrounds,” Siobhan said.   

“We’ve worked hard to improve cultural awareness among employees, resulting in a significant 58% uplift in the number of employees completing our Indigenous Cultural Awareness module.

“We’ve also promoted a number of economic development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  This includes programs to increase the number of Indigenous Australian businesses in our supply chain, growing Indigenous Australia businesses through our microfinance program, and building greater financial resilience through our Jawun Indigenous community secondment program,” she said.    

During the year, an additional 140 Indigenous Australians joined Westpac’s workforce. This outcome was supported by tailored recruitment programs, including Westpac’s partnership with CareerTrackers Indigenous Internships. Through this partnership, Westpac has committed to offering internships to at least 400 Indigenous Australian university students over the decade to 2025.

“We are committed to maintain or exceed Indigenous Australian parity in future, to ensure our employment population is truly reflective of the broader community,” Siobhan said.

“More important is to ensure all employees feel supported to prosper and have fulfilling, productive careers with Westpac, and feel proud to celebrate their differences.”   

Additional RAP achievements 2016

  • Increased the number of Indigenous Australian-owned businesses within our customer base by 17%.
  • Spent $1.6 million on buying goods and services from Indigenous-owned business suppliers.
  • Supported a further 115 Indigenous Australian owned businesses with microfinance loans through microfinance partner Many Rivers.
  • Contributed the equivalent of 100 years’ worth of employee time with Indigenous Australian community    organisations through the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships program.

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1 Data derived from an employee survey based on the number of individuals who self-identified as having 'Aboriginal, Indigenous Australian or Torres Strait Islander' cultural heritage.