10 Oct 2013

BNZ programmes aim to push women up leadership ranks

7:26 am on 10 October 2013

The Bank of New Zealand has introduced a series of programmes to push women up the leadership ranks, saying diversity is crucial to survival and growth.

Chief executive Andrew Thorburn says about 60% of its workforce of 5500 are women.

But only 25 women are senior leaders, about a quarter of its total senior leadership.

Speaking at the 2013 congress of the accounting body, CPA, in Auckland on Wednesday, Mr Thorburn said the bank's priority is to put more women in executive roles.

He says the bank has targets rather than quotas, flexible work practises for every job and a rule that shortlists for jobs must include at least one woman.

Mr Thorburn says the pay gap was another issue and the bank looked at a man and a woman who had the same qualifications and were doing the same job and found the woman was being underpaid.

He says it's been working on the pay parity issue for a couple of years and it expects to achieve pay parity between two people ascertained to have the same level of competence and doing the same job over the next year or so.

Mr Thorburn says the bank is also tackling ethnic diversity.

He told the CPA Congress that the workers should challenge their leaders to move quickly to introduce diverse leadership.