08 Mar 2016

It is simply about getting the basics right

By NAB CEO, Andrew Thorburn.

Throughout my 30 year career, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that banking is about people.

It is about supporting our customers, over half of whom are women, in their work and in their personal lives.

Given this, and also that I am a Dad to two daughters in the workforce, today I add my voice to achieving full gender equality.

For me, there are two drivers of change. The first starts with fairness and equity. I absolutely want my daughters to have the same opportunities as my son.

At NAB, we have close to 30,000 people in our Australian workforce – and every single one of them deserves equal pay for equal work and access to flexibility to manage their work and life.

The second driver of change is ensuring we have more women in senior ranks. We live in a challenging and changing world where women are customers, entrepreneurs, key decision-makers and leaders. To remain relevant, we need to ensure women are part of shaping business strategy so we meet the needs of our diverse community.

Of my leadership team, four out of nine of my direct reports are women. Each one of them is contributing to achieving gender parity. But we’ve still got a way to go to increase the number of women in senior roles across our business. And so does the broader business community in theirs.

I take inspiration from our customers like Lisa King, the New Zealand founder of Eat My Lunch, a service that creates healthy lunches for schools and workplaces. Lisa had a vision, not just to start a company but to have a company with purpose. So for every lunch bought, a lunch is given to a child in need.

NAB backs women like Lisa every day. These women are their own boss and work on their own terms. We help them turn their ideas in to businesses.

As a Dad, CEO and Male Champion of Change, I am invested in building a culture that supports women to achieve their goals.

On International Women’s Day, let’s each commit to making this change happen. All of us can play a role to ensure women receive the same career opportunities and share of voice as men!

I don’t see this as an overly-ambitious goal. It is simply about getting the basics right. So what are you waiting for?!

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