This International Women’s Day, BOQ is shining a spotlight on gender-quality in the banking and finance sector. Over the last two weeks, BOQ have held International Women’s Day events in Brisbane and Sydney to bring our female leaders and Male Champions of Change together to share insights, challenges and advice around strengthening gender diversity.
Since 2012, the number of women in leadership roles at BOQ has increased from 12% to 34% – steadily heading towards the Bank’s 2020 goal of 50% representation. Leading this change is BOQ’s Managing Director and CEO, Jon Sutton, who says the Bank’s focus on diversity encourages differing perspectives and a wide range of innovation throughout the company.
BOQ has recently been selected among international finance peers in recognition for our diversity strategy in the 2017 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. The index, comprised of 52 financial institutions from across the world, identifies industry leaders in advancing women in the workforce via gender diversity; particularly in leadership roles.
“Our strategy has a strong focus on gender diversity and inclusion so that we get inherently better at considering a range of perspectives before making decisions,” Sutton said.
“It’s well-known that gender-equality practises have a positive impact on performance; particularly in productivity, decision making and financial outcome. I am proud of BOQ’s progress in adopting flexible working arrangements, setting public gender diversity targets and delivering programs to support leadership development for women.”
BOQ aims to be in the top quartile of Australian banks for gender-equality.
The tide is turning
Lianne Bolton has spent 27 years climbing the corporate ladder within the financial services industry. In her current role as Chief Financial Officer of BOQ Business, she believes the tide is finally turning on the time it takes for women to get to the top.
“I was 21 years old when I started my first corporate job in banking and at that time it was very male dominated. You had to have a real sense of humour and to work hard to be promoted,” Bolton said.
While Bolton still believes these are important factors in the workplace for both genders, she hopes women entering the workforce today can get to her position faster.
“It is not ideal, it shouldn’t have taken that long to get to where I am, but I do see very positive trends and good evidence of progress when it comes to gender-equality in banking,” Bolton said.