[We are pleased to provide an update. At April 2018, 3 of the Big 4 banks are Femeconomy approved – CBA, ANZ and NAB.]
The Commonwealth Bank meets the Australian Institute of Company Director’s target of 30% women on the Board of Directors.
Why should you care? We’re all busy. Warning: this is quite scathing to some of the banks. If you love banks, read no further!
Apart from the incredible economic and industry leadership power wielded by these institutions, decades of research has shown that gender equality is good for business across a whole range of metrics including profit, governance outcomes, workplace culture and customer satisfaction.
Also, women represent 50% of the population and 46% of our workforce in Australia. So it’s likely that half the customer base is women. Where are the female senior leaders and board directors to represent the views of these customers? And to influence the ongoing gender pay gap, superannuation gap, lack of workplace flexibility for working women and men, so that caring responsibilities can be shared.
The banks have all recognised this and responded with well promoted gender equality programs:
- Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus
- ANZ’s Equal Future
- Westpac’s Ruby Connection
- NAB is the only one who hasn’t branded their program
At 3 out of 4 of the banks, these programs are pitched as ‘for the future’, so clearly not now or anytime soon. As in, we shouldn’t expect more female senior leaders in the short term. Because…MERIT right? Well bias is the enemy of merit, and the merit myth has been debunked recently by the AICD as holding women back and hurting organisations.
One of the banks actually says in their diversity message on their website they don’t want to just hire women to ‘make up the numbers’. Oh, how I LAUGHED! Was this written in the 1950’s? Apart from the fact that 60% of university undergraduate and postgraduates are women, this messaging dismisses the reality that we have a wealth of senior executive and board level female talent in Australia ready and able to fill those roles. But they aren’t being given the opportunity (really, there isn’t a pipeline problem. Women have been graduating Australian universities in higher numbers than men since the 1980’s. Quite a lot of them study business too).
Interesting how every other aspect of business progress is measured…with numbers. Because what gets measured gets done.
At CBA, Catherine Livingstone AO has just been appointed as the first female Chairman of the Board. This is a symbolic milestone, normalising the role of women as industry leaders. Hopefully other banks will follow with similar actions, not just future promises, and acknowledge they are moving the dial far too slowly.
Find other banking and insurance providers that are Femeconomy approved. At Femeconomy we’ve researched over 2000 consumer brands and identified which brands are 50% female owned or have 30% women on the board of directors.
What is your view on gender equality in Banks?
Femeconomy approved brands have at least 30% of women on the Board of Directors or are 50% female owned. So far over 700 brands meet our criteria. Look for our badge to shop Femeconomy approved brands.
Female leaders will create gender equality. #femeconomy #shop4equality