CSR Changemakers – Paula Benson
Wednesday, 31st October 2012 at 11:45 am
Paula Benson, General Manager of Corporate Responsibility at NAB, is profiled in CSR Changemakers – a new column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Corporate Social Responsibility sector.
Paula is a leading Corporate Affairs professional with more than fifteen years experience in large Media, Service and Resource sector organisations. She has extensive knowledge of government relations, community and stakeholder engagement, communications and issues management.
Prior to joining NAB, Paula held senior roles in business and the media including General Manager Corporate Affairs at Alcoa of Australia, Manager Public Affairs at RMIT University and a producer of A Current Affair on Channel 9.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
At NAB we believe we are at the forefront of the transition business has made over the last few decades from philanthropy to corporate social responsibility to the new frontier of shared value. So we are very focused on what shared value means for us. We are thinking about the purpose of our business and understanding its role in society and we are focused on addressing issues in society while at the same time creating value for our company.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
I am proud to work for an organisation that is committed to differentiating itself from its competitors through reputation, leadership and culture – a company whose purpose is “to do the right thing”. It’s fantastic to work for a bank that is focused on putting customers at the heart of everything we do and is leading the industry in abolishing some of the most complained about fees and charges, making credit card payment schemes fairer and providing help and support to people experiencing financial hardship.
I am also extremely proud to be the custodian of our hugely successful microfinance program for financially excluded Australians whereby individuals who could not otherwise borrow money from a bank are able to access small amounts of affordable credit to build their assets.
I consider my greatest achievement to be……
NAB has an incredible skilled volunteering program – every year we are entitled to at least two days volunteer leave on full pay. We also have an impressive Workplace Giving program which matches my donations up to $1200 per annum. I am the Chair of Ovarian Cancer Australia, a Not for Profit which raises awareness of the disease and provides support for women and their families and friends affected by ovarian cancer as well as raising much needed funds for research.
Being involved in raising funds and volunteering for this organisation has given me enormous personal satisfaction and a sense of real achievement as we have grown from a small grass roots community organisation to the leading organisation for ovarian cancer in Australia today. I love working for an organisation – NAB – which supports me in this endeavour.
Favourite saying ..
My favourite saying is “You are the people you have been waiting for” or as Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.