28 Aug 2014

NAB launches economic research on diversity

Today NAB’s Chief Economist Alan Oster, in partnership with Lisa Annese, CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia, released the inaugural NAB Australian Business Diversity Index, which was created as a measure of the current diversity of Australian workplaces.

The research shows strong intent within the business community to build a gender diverse workforce. Australian business achieved a Gender Diversity score of 71.9/100, with the ASX 300 scoring higher than average, at 78.3/100. Businesses rated themselves, answering a series of diversity questions to establish an overall score out of 100.

While Australian businesses are reporting as broadly gender diverse, balance has not been realised at senior levels. When asked to quantify gender representation on executive management teams, women made up only 23.8% of the total. In the case of the ASX 300, the share was even lower at just 15%.

Michalea Healey, Group Executive People, Communications and Governance, said of the index: “There are clearly significant barriers in place preventing the advancement of women, something both government and business are working to address through policy advancement. However, alongside this important work, we need to fundamentally change the culture of business to be more inclusive.”

“This applies not just for women, but for people of different cultures, of all age groups, for those with disabilities and for the LGBTI community. It is something NAB is striving to achieve in order to better reflect the community in which we operate.”

“It is not enough for individuals of different backgrounds to have a seat at the table, they must be supported to leverage their experiences and to feel comfortable putting potentially radical ideas on the table.”

“In doing so, we will be creating stronger businesses, a community with unique perspectives and critical thinkers – and a potential economic advantage for Australia.”

“Our hope is that this research will help industries and businesses better understand diversity performance, in an effort to drive change.”

For further information, download the full report.

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