28 Jan 2015

Internship a boost for gender diversity

National Australia Bank has created a new internship program specifically designed for female university students to attract more women to traditionally male-dominated careers in the global markets.

The inaugural NAB Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC) summer internship is a part of the bank’s gender equality agenda, with a focus on improving the representation of women at senior levels.

NAB’s Executive General Manager FICC, Drew Bradford, said seven places had been awarded to students in Sydney and Melbourne in the program’s inaugural year.

“NAB is already among the largest employers of senior women in the markets space, but we want to and can do more to improve the gender balance,” Mr Bradford said.

“To do that we have to think sustainably by ensuring we hire women we can develop and support from graduate level through to the highest positions in the organisation.

“The answer is not simply to hire the best women from other institutions, it is to help develop the best women in the industry by providing the right opportunities.”

In partnership with Women in Banking and Finance, the seven-week summer internship program targets female students from maths and engineering backgrounds to provide exposure and encourage interest in roles in financial markets.

This year’s students were sourced from some of the leading universities which include the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, UTS and UNSW.

As part of the internship, the students will experience the Foreign Exchange, Interest Rates and Bonds, and Commodities areas, as well as various functions including sales, trading, pricing, product and systems development.

Mr Bradford said it was an opportunity to gain work experience, make professional contacts and determine personal interest in a future career in global markets.

“Our goal is to assist students with gaining experience, making contacts, and building their understanding of the industry. We would hope that these interns will then apply for the NAB Graduate Program at the end of their academic studies,” he said.

NAB has committed to increasing the number of women in the top three layers of the organisation from 23% to 33% by 2015.

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