Four Actions to Take This International Women’s Day
4 March 2014 at 8:38 am
Westpac Group is focussed on its vision of being one of the world’s great companies for diversity and flexibility. With its own month-long campaign planned for March with the theme of ‘Unleashing Your Potential’, Westpac’s Diversity and Flexibility team is encouraging all organisations to recognise the opportunity to enhance gender equity in the workplace.
Jane Counsel from Westpac’s Diversity team explains the company’s objectives to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) this year.
1. Profile Talent
There are over 42 per cent of women in leadership roles at Westpac Group and the business is tracking well to achieve its aspirational target of 50 per cent by 2017. By profiling women in our business who have unleashed their potential we tell their story to other women coming through, and share the tools and techniques they applied. The role models to be showcased in communications throughout the business will highlight the diversity of women’s experiences and also shine a spotlight on the men who have been champions of women’s advancement.
2. Create Networking Opportunities
A number of events will be hosted during March to encourage busy employees to meet colleagues across the business. Within Westpac Group, employees can seek out their own mentors or sponsors, and the IWD campaign will be promoting access to the online, self-service portal which has seen women successfully connect with colleagues who provide advice and help to navigate their careers.
A workshop presented by the Institute of Coaching and Leadership will outline successful approaches to both mentoring and sponsorship.
An interactive session with alumni of the Leading Women of Westpac Program will bring senior female leaders together to share their experiences of networking and connecting for personal growth and career success.
3. Provide Information and Education
Existing material covering the Women in Leadership program, workplace flexibility, general wellbeing, and career advancement will be re-packaged as an information pack for distribution throughout teams across the business.
We’re asking our people leaders to talk to their teams about what’s available so all our employees are aware of what they can take advantage of… We’d like to see more women and men in our business access diversity and flexibility resources which are designed to help them advance their careers.
To deepen the culture of mainstreamed workplace flexibility, the Diversity and Flexibility team is specifically targeting education at people leaders, so they can assess the impact of flexible work practices at an individual, manager, and team level. The desire to have workplace flexibility needs to meet the capability to enact it, so we have developed tools and resources for people to work through all the factors they need to consider so flexibility becomes a driver of employee productivity and engagement.
An insightful Personal Brand and Presence Workshop will introduce the concept of a powerful personal brand and its impact, as well as explore techniques that help build presence. An Interviewing with Confidence workshop is aimed at staff looking to progress their careers, and will cover positioning oneself for success.
4. Include the Community
Via the Westpac Women’s Market team, including the Ruby Connection interactive online community, bankers and customers will be brought together in celebration of IWD. It’s about positioning ourselves as the bank of choice for women, as well as valuing our relationships with the broader community and our employees.
Westpac will be using its social media channels to share information about its celebrations. We know our female customers want to know that we are also looking after our own people.
While IWD is the marker for drawing attention to women’s participation in the workplace, it is a long-term commitment to creating a change in culture that will see gender equity achieved in any workplace.
Workplace flexibility, development opportunities, and capacity building are just some of the tools that put women in the driver’s position. We want our female talent to be the CEOs of their own career.
Westpac Social Sector Banking provides a customised range of banking solutions to suit Not for Profit organisations, charities, associations as well as single-interest and community groups. For more information on Westpac Social Sector Banking, visit www.westpac.com.au/socialsectorbanking
Ruby Connection is an interactive online community designed to provide a networking support forum for women in business. For more information on Ruby Connection, visit http://rubyconnection.com.au/