Celebrated annually on 8 March around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) focuses on celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about women’s equality and driving gender equality. 

We recognise the important role we all play in advancing gender equality and our commitment to building a culture that celebrates differences and benefits all gender identities. Our Group theme this year was taken from the United Nations 2021 theme, ‘Women in leadership’. This theme highlights the importance of women’s achievements and the continuing need to call out inequality and create an inclusive world.

To celebrate, we held a number of events across the Group championing both the theme of Women in Leadership as well as the IWD theme #choosetochallenge.

Here’s a rundown of some of our thought-provoking events and initiatives:

We started the week with our Group event, a conversation with our Chairman Catherine Livingstone. Catherine discussed leadership, inclusion and careers of the future.

"You're not a taker of the role, you're a maker. It’s not HR that makes your role it’s you. You give it purpose – that will develop momentum and give you a voice.”

- Catherine Livingstone

Our Enterprise Services teams hosted three separate panel discussions. The topics included:

  • The centrality of women's active participation in decision making and the importance of advancing women in leadership
  • Female leaders from our Data and Analytics community sharing their career journeys and how they #choosetochallenge
  • Personal experiences of choosing to challenge and calling out bias and inequality, how we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and collectively how we can all help create an inclusive world.

Our Group Inclusion and Diversity team hosted a gender equality video series that featured our people sharing their personal stories in the workplace, as well as a podcast series around challenging gender roles and stereotypes.

To build tomorrow’s bank today, we continue to reflect on these themes of gender equality, choosing to challenge and women in leadership, and how we’re putting them into practice all year long. 

Championing equal participation at work

  • We provide opportunities for everyone to pursue rewarding careers and are committed to equal pay for performing work of equal value.
  • We encourage our people to balance work with other important responsibilities in their lives by offering work flexibility and providing support for our working parents, including gender-neutral parental leave.  
  • We monitor our gender in leadership targets through quarterly inclusion conversations.

Challenging gender stereotypes

  • We have been a signatory to the UN Women Empowerment Principles since 2014.
  • We participate in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and have been recognised as one of 380 global organisations for our workplace, customer and community efforts.
  • We have been accredited by WORK180 and FlexCareers for our commitment to flexibility, diversity and inclusion.

Strengthening positive & equal relationships

  • The financial issues affecting women are unique. We are committed to helping more women be financially independent, using our knowledge and resources to help improve women’s financial wellbeing.
  • Since 2015, CBA has committed $30 million to helping people experiencing domestic and family violence. In 2021 we'll continue to find more ways to support our customers, employees and members of the community affected by financial abuse achieve long-term financial independence.
  • We have increased our Domestic and Family Violence Leave for employees to be uncapped.

Next Chapter

  • We know that gender inequality lies at the heart of domestic and family violence, and is a key factor in financial abuse.
  • We continue our Next Chapter commitment through 2021, working together to end domestic and financial abuse in Australia, helping victim-survivors begin their next chapter and achieve long term financial independence.
  • This year we’re bringing even more services, support, resources and research to the market. Share our Next Chapter commitment and progress with your friends and family.


  • Our Employee network, WeCan, debunks the thinking that gender equality is an issue only for women and signals our commitment to creating a culture of inclusion at CommBank.

Learn more about our commitment to gender diversity

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