Customer owned banks put people before profits, and that builds a strong foundation to build social equality. This is perhaps best reflected in the workplace, where COBA members are at the forefront of best practice.
IMB Bank was recently awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
“In customer owned banking, it is important that our workplace and organisational values reflect the members and communities that we serve,” COBA CEO Mike Lawrence said. “The experience of IMB Bank proves that embracing equality is good for the people that work in our sector and good for business.”
IMB Bank’s gender equality initiatives include paid parental leave for men and women; flexible working arrangements to support a healthy work-life balance; workplace consultation through an employee-led Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, ensuring gender-balanced approaches to recruitment and promotion decisions; and actively working to close the gender pay-gap year-on-year.
“Our Diversity and Inclusion program is delivering meaningful, lasting change,” said IMB Bank Chief Executive Robert Ryan. “We’ve set targets to create a diverse talent mix across our business and ensure our people have equal opportunity to participate, achieve and progress their careers. In 2022, for example, 77% of our internal promotions were earned by women which was a great outcome.
“Over the past three years, we’ve delivered an increase in senior management positions held by women from 18% to 38% and increased female representation in regional management positions from zero to 40%. Outcomes such as these also support our efforts to deliver pay equity in our organisation, which remains a key area of focus,” said Mr Ryan.
WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge said the results are encouraging for all employers seeking to accelerate change in their workplaces.
“EOCGE employers have made gender equality an integral component of their business strategies and they’re seeing results,” Ms Wooldridge said. “With the upcoming legislative reforms requiring WGEA to publish employer gender pay gaps, the results of this new analysis show that with intentional leadership and a commitment to gender equality, an employer can reduce their gender pay gap for the benefit of all their employees.”
“Critically, EOCGE employers are delivering an approach that results in better support structures in place for working families; stronger actions to address pay inequalities; and strategic recruitment, promotion and retention practices that encourage the full participation of women at work,” Ms Wooldridge said.