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More women in tech jobs will bring ‘richer thinking’

A senior executive of the National Australia Bank has called for more women to be placed in technology jobs and says that doing this, while creating greater diversity, will also bring “richer thinking” to organisations.

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day this Saturday, 8 March, NAB Group Executive Enterprise Services and Transformation Lisa Gray said that in 2010 the NAB had set a series of targets to raise the proportion of the number of women in the bank’s subsidiary board positions from 14% to 30% by 2015.

Gray said that in September last year the target had already been increased to 38%.

“In an industry that faces systemic diversity challenges, and as a major employer of technology roles, NAB is committed to supporting gender diversity and the push for more women in technology jobs.”

Gray was speaking at this week’s inaugural Women in Technology forum to more than 200 NAB technology employees who met to hear from gender diversity advocates including best-selling author Michelle McQuaid and Marita Cheng, 2012 Young Australian of the Year.

The Women in Technology forum focused on the need for gender diversity targets, the existing systemic barriers and challenges for women in technology, and highlighted opportunities available through NAB’s diversity agenda.

“Diversity of all kinds is vital because it brings richer thinking to organisations,” Gray said.

“We are committed to creating and maintaining a workforce which is representative of our customers and communities and in which individual differences are valued and respected – it’s good for our employees and good for the business.”

According to Gray, since setting the targets in 2010 to raise the proportion of the number of women in the bank’s subsidiary board positions, NAB had:

•    Increased the number of women in senior management (the top three layers of our organisation) from 23% to 33% by 2015. At Sept 2013 30% of the Group’s executive management were women

•    Strengthened our talent pipeline by creating a 50/50 gender balance in our graduate program intake. At Sept 2013, 47% of the graduates who have accepted positions in the company’s 2014 graduate program are women.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).