Taking action to #BreakTheBias every day

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NAB’s Chair has urged people to call bias out and seek second opinions from people who are different to themselves, at an International Women’s Day event on Tuesday.

NAB joined Telstra, AGL Australia, Medibank, and Australia Post to host a hybrid live and streamed event for colleagues at each of the five organisations, to discuss the International Women’s Day (IWD) theme of #BreakTheBias.

Speaking as a panellist, NAB Chair, Philip Chronican said a bias is an instinctive response usually built up over years of experience.

“Unless you call bias out and name it, you can’t be aware of when it’s affecting you,” he said.

Mr Chronican said that large organisations need to have a clear strategy and policies to support inclusion.

“Our ambition is that NAB creates a workplace which offers equal opportunity to everyone.

“That means paying people equally for the same work and achieving even representation at all levels of the organisation.”

“It is the role of the Board to provide oversight, to ensure these strategies achieve their intended outcomes, and to make deliberate interventions when required,” he said.

NAB has set measurable targets to assess the effectiveness of our inclusion programs:

  • Diverse leadership teams and talent pipelines; 40-60% of either gender represented at each salary level and the Board.
  • Fair remuneration; reward our colleagues fairly and support our objective of gender pay equity under 10%.
  • Inclusion score, using measures from our internal engagement survey; targeting no gap between diverse and non-diverse colleagues on authenticity, respect and equal opportunity.

 

Equity Alliance Awards

During the event, an inaugural Equity Alliance award was also presented to two leaders from each organisation. The awards recognise and pay tribute to employees doing amazing work to progress gender equality and ‘break the bias’.

In an internal presentation of the awards to NAB colleagues Johanna Dziadkiewicz and Raj Vedantam, NAB CEO Ross McEwan, said we all have a job to do in striving for equality and need to do more.

“We all have to call out any biases that we see. We need to do this not just today, on International Women’s Day, but every day going forward,” Mr McEwan said.

 

Headshots of NAB's Gender Equity Award Winners
NAB’s Johanna Dziadkiewicz (left) and Raj Vedantam (right) were both Gender Equality Award winners.

NAB Manager Business Execution Private Wealth, Johanna Dziadkiewicz was recognised for her outstanding development work with women across NAB.

“I’m passionate about closing the gap for women at higher leadership levels. I recently co-created a pilot program for our female colleagues to teach them the skills required to step up to that next level,” Mrs Dziadkiewicz said.

“Everyone should have the right to choose what they want to do and not be restricted by biases.”

NAB Associate Director, Compliance – T&EO and Enabling Units, Raj Vedantam was recognised for his support of NAB’s Gender Balance committee and innovative hybrid approach.

“As men, we should be ready to ask ourselves and others uncomfortable questions. We need to consider whether we are falling into the trap of unconscious bias and doing things that are seemingly ‘normal’ that maintain the power imbalance,” Mr Vedantam said.

 

Mr Chronican said everyone can take action to break the bias.

“Any time you’re involved in a decision that’s likely to have an impact, get a second opinion from somebody different. Ask them what’s wrong with the process and how we can make it better,” Mr Chronican said.

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