National Australia Bank (NAB) today announced the first social bond to specifically promote workplace gender equality. The bond enables institutional investors to invest in supporting Australian organisations that champion women and equality in a positive way.
Acting Chief Customer Officer Corporate & Institutional Banking Cathryn Carver said the bond will bring awareness to the standards needed across corporate Australia to foster gender equality.
“NAB is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture because we know it leads to better outcomes*,” Ms Carver said.
“Last week’s parity report from Chief Executive Women and Bain & Company showed that 60% of men were promoted twice or more in the past five years compared with only 41% of women, and that gap only increases with seniority,” Ms Carver said. “There is clearly a lot of work to be done to help women find more equal footing in the workplace.”
Eva Zileli, Head of Group Funding, said NAB can make a positive contribution to this issue by combining its commitment to gender equality with expertise in debt financing to create a debt security supporting women and equality.
“More and more investors want products that help address pressing social and environmental issues** and which meet their own social and environmental criteria,” Ms Zileli said.
“NAB is committed to building a strong market for socially responsible investments that gives investors more choices and options to act on social issues. We see this bond as a critical step in that process, and in building the transparent reporting tools that investors need to measure the impact of these investments.”
The NAB Social Bond (Gender Equality) is a fixed income obligation of NAB. Institutional investors will be able to participate in financing or re-financing organisations that the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) cites as Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE), and that meet the requirements of NAB’s social bond framework, which aims to promote sustainable and socially responsible investments.
The organisations included in the initial NAB Social Bond (Gender Equality) portfolio are Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, Monash University, Australian Catholic University, PwC, KPMG Australia, King & Wood Mallesons (Australia), Clayton Utz, Gilbert + Tobin, Minter Ellison, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Ashurst Australia and Henry Davis York.
NAB supports gender equality in the workplace in many ways. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thorburn is a member of Male Champions of Change and has been a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador since September 2014. Cathryn Carver is a member of Chief Executive Women, alongside Angela Mentis, Chief Customer Officer Business & Private Banking, and Anne Loveridge, Non-Executive Director.
* Publically traded companies with diversity are 45% more likely to report improved market share than those that don’t have diversity. Centre for Talent and Innovation
** In Australia, assets professionally managed under a core ‘responsible investment’ strategy increased 60 per cent to AUD51.5 billion from 2014 to 2015. Responsible Investment Association of Australia