About this story

This is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and has been operating continuously in the country since the first office was opened in Auckland in 1861. The bank operates a variety of financial services covering retail, business and institutional banking and employs over 8,000 people in New Zealand.

[us_testimonial author=”CEO” company=””]With the help of Fuel50, our work in diversity has been recognised by the United Nations in 2013 when we were one of only five organizations worldwide to be recognized for its leadership in empowering women in its workforce and the community.[/us_testimonial]





Industry Vertical








This bank, like all ASX Listed Financial Services Sector organizations, is required to report annually on women in leadership across the business and to achieve career acceleration outcomes for target individuals across age, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

The bank believes that having a diverse mix of employees and perspectives leads to better business performance, innovation, and creativity. A diverse workforce also means the business can better reflect the communities they serve and better meet clients’ needs. Diversity to this business is not only about having a diverse mix of people working for them, but also having a workplace culture that engages and unleashes their full potential in the workplace.

Fuel50 designed and delivered the Diversity FuelLeaders™ program that was part of the global United Nations award-winning initiative for Diversity in 2013. FuelLeaders™ increased the awareness and skills of leaders across the group in order to provide the necessary leadership support behaviors so that there would be sufficient woman, ethnic and sexual orientation minorities represented in the future leadership pipeline.

Embarking on a 3-year journey with defined objectives, the Diversity FuelLeaders™ program was an important and visible delivery mechanism for this important initiative.

Research identified barriers to Women in Leadership within the bank as:

  • A lack of real leadership and commitment to the issues
  • The business case for the value of women in business was not deeply embedded in the organization
  • Systemic barriers within the dominant bank culture, including small pockets of poor behavior and attitudes
  • Unclear pathways
  • Some programs were designed to help, some to hinder
  • There was some measurement but little accountability
  • The stereotypical image of banking


Branded Fuel50 CareerDrive™ license with branded FuelAgility™ tool


Workshops & Exercises
Leadership workshops delivered to executive leaders across the business and Career Derailers card exercise to analyse path obstacles


Career Engagement Specialist provided support and mentoring at workshops as


As part of the career mobility and workforce agility strategy that aligns with the organization’s already strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP), the bank was seeking the following outcomes:

  • To demonstrate commitment to the support, development and direction of target diversity demographics and female employees’ careers in particular
  • To include Diversity as part of a strategy to attract, engage and retain the right people in the right roles
  • To build future talent pipelines that included women and other minority demographics
  • Differentiate the bank as an employer from other premium institutions
  • Leaders learned how to use Fuel50’s FuelAgility for delivering powerful career coaching conversations to develop career support plans designed to achieve the desired career acceleration outcomes across the business in target diversity populations
  • Leaders understood the key why and how concepts of career development and career customization
  • Institutionalized the new world of the corporate lattice and flexible working practices that support career acceleration outcomes
  • Identified career enablers and derailers which may impact career progression of target individuals, especially:
    • Sticky floor/glass ceilings
    • What helps and what doesn’t?
    • Leaders’ role as enablers and their unconscious derailer behaviors)

Key program outcomes:

  • Built awareness of unconscious bias impacting the careers of women and other key “adversely impacted” populations across the bank
  • Identified individual career derailer moments.
  • Taught key leadership behaviors to provide career support, sponsorship and enhancement for those from a different demographic to own (age, gender, gender orientation, ethnicity, etc.).

United Nations

Recognized by the United Nations in 2013 as 1 of 5 organizations delivering ground-breaking work in promoting a diverse workforce


increase in female career acceleration for Senior Leaders (band,4,5,b) by the target end in 2015


increase in female career acceleration for BNZLT (now executive team) in just under 4 years


increase in female career acceleration with the talent pipeline at senior leadership in just under 4 years