8 March 2023
While the number of women moving into executive leadership and board roles has increased by more than a third at seven of Australia’s largest banks over the past six years, it is essential to keep a strong focus on equity and diversity to ensure the positive momentum continues, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) said today.
Speaking at an International Women’s Day (IWD) event, ABA Chief Executive Officer Anna Bligh said there has been a transformation in many key leadership categories in the banking sector, as an increasing number of women move into the upper ranks.
“This International Women’s Day, it is so important to acknowledge the change that has occurred, the women and organisations who are forging this change, and also ensure we continue strongly on this positive path”ABA CEO, Anna Bligh
“We’ve seen a more than 25% increase in the number of female general managers and a 16% increase in female senior managers in the past six years,” Ms Bligh said.
“It’s important we recognise and celebrate the growing number of women moving into senior manager, general manager and executive leadership/ board roles, particularly on a day such as International Women’s Day.
“Although there is a higher percentage of women in manager roles at 47.2%, there has been a slower pace of change with a 5.1% increase at this level.
“At the executive general manager level, while there has been a 4.1% decrease, still 35% of roles are filled by women. But it’s clear that a strong equity lens on all levels of an organisation is essential and we need to keep having those important conversations.”
Proportion of women in managerial positions, Large banks, 2017-2022, %
The ABA panel event, held in partnership with MinterEllison in Sydney, also featured ING Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Melanie Evans, Culture Amp’s Senior Director of Equitable Design, Aubrey Blanche and MinterEllison’s Partner in Risk and Regulatory Consulting, Donna Worthington.
“This International Women’s Day, it is so important to acknowledge the change that has occurred, the women and organisations who are forging this change, and also ensure we continue strongly on this positive path,” Ms Bligh said.
“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”
“What is underpinning this bank failure is a number of things, but not least of all, it’s a very niche bank with high exposure to one part of the economy. And that’s the part of the economy that’s been quite volatile and troubled”
The Treasurer has indicated that the federal government is closely monitoring the situation.