Major bank launches workplace gender equality bond

A big four bank has created a social bond to promote workplace gender equality and enable institutional investors to support Australian organisations that champion equality in the working environment.

The NAB Social Bond (Gender Equality), which was launched ahead of International Women’s Day (8 March), is a fixed income obligation of NAB.

Institutional investors will be able to participate in financing or re-financing organisations that the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) cites as Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE), and that meet the requirements of NAB’s social bond framework, which aims to promote sustainable and socially responsible investments.

Companies involved in the initial NAB Social Bond (Gender Equality) portfolio include Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, Monash University, PwC, KPMG Australia, King & Wood Mallesons (Australia), and Clayton Utz, amongst others.

Citing figures from the Centre for Talent and Innovation that suggest publically-traded companies with diversity are 45 per cent more likely to report improved market share than those that don’t have diversity, NAB’s acting chief customer officer for corporate and institutional banking Cathryn Carver said: “NAB is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture because we know it leads to better outcomes.

“Last week’s parity report from Chief Executive Women and Bain & Company showed that 60 per cent of men were promoted twice or more in the past five years compared with only 41 per cent of women, and that gap only increases with seniority.

“There is clearly a lot of work to be done to help women find more equal footing in the workplace.”

Eva Zileli, head of group funding at NAB, added: “More and more investors want products that help address pressing social and environmental issues and which meet their own social and environmental criteria.

“NAB is committed to building a strong market for socially responsible investments that give investors more choices and options to act on social issues. We see this bond as a critical step in that process, and in building the transparent reporting tools that investors need to measure the impact of these investments.”

[Related: Women lead digital banking revolution]

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Annie Kane

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