Eleven years ago at a time where women were largely expected to take a back seat in favour of men, Westpac noticed women quietly achieving amazing things. They recognised there was a growing class of highly skilled and dedicated women taking on business and moving into leadership roles across PNG.
“We knew they needed to be rewarded and more than that, that they needed to be held up as examples for other women and girls,” Adrian Hughes, Managing Director of Westpac PNG.
The Westpac Outstanding Women (WOW) Awards is a recognition of the professional achievements and successes of women in Papua New Guinea. The Awards are open for women in the private sector, public sector, NGO’s in communities or those who set out into business ventures.
It is the oldest and most prestigious awards for women in PNG and recognises how women make a difference.
For decades Westpac has been standing up and clearly stating that equality is a basic human right, a moral and business imperative and a major priority for Westpac.
Westpac was the first bank in Australia to employ female tellers; the first bank to introduce paid parental leave; and the first major bank to appoint a woman as CEO.
“In PNG we’re incredibly proud to be part of the Business Coalition for Women working to grow women professionally,” said Hughes.
Westpac has a proud history of helping women take their rightful place in society and maximise their potential.
A Goldman Sachs study found that narrowing the gender gap in employment could, by 2020, increase per capita income in markets like PNG by as much as 14%.
World Bank also predicts that increasing women’s economic participation could more than double overall worker productivity in the Pacific from 7% to 18%.
Recognising women in these different sectors inspires others to follow in their footsteps. The Westpac Outstanding Women alumni are mentors and show that women can achieve their goals in whatever field they want.
WOW is in its 11th year and this year’s nomination process was launched on November 16th 2017. Nomination closed on the 8th of February 2018. On average WOW receives 70 to 80 nominations per year. This years awards presentation night will be held on the 15th of March.
The seven award categories and the sponsors are as follows:
• PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Sector Award
• Precinct Public Sector Award supported by the PNG Australia Partnership
• Steamships Not for Profit Award
• SP Brewery Entrepreneur Award
• Trukai Community Award
• IBBM Young Achievers Award
• Moore Printing Sports Award
Winners from the seven categories automatically qualify as nominees for the honour of honours: Westpac Outstanding Woman of the Year.