Backing bold women: Scholarships announced

Three separate images stitched together of BNZ women

by BNZ CEO, Angie Mentis

International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to not simply talk about gender equality, but to act on it too.

This year is 125 years since New Zealand women got the right to vote. Given that fact, it is simply not acceptable that experts are estimating that gender parity another 186 years away. That’s six generations.

Today we have the chance to act. Forget the year 2186 for gender equity. Think 2020. That’s our commitment. BNZ will achieve gender equality across all levels of our organisation by 2020.

Why?  Not just because it aligns with our values. But because when I think about my role, I need to support our customers by running a bank that reflects their world –  and that means a diverse organisation that is inclusive to its core.

At Bank of New Zealand, we are fully committed to having the diverse and inclusive business we need and want. This will require tenacity. And action.

Today I’m delighted to launch the Ivy Waters Memorial Scholarships. Displaying incredible tenacity in 1915, Ivy became BNZ’s first female staff member. Not only that – but at the end of the war when most women BNZers returned to traditional domestic duties – Ivy stayed on and worked at BNZ for 32 years.

There are two parts to the Ivy Waters Memorial Scholarships. One is to support women through their final year of study, and it will include a mentor and an internship here at BNZ to gain helpful experience.

BNZ has many driven, ambitious women who embody Ivy Waters’ tenacious spirit. I’m committed to seeing them strive for more and progress in our organisation. So, for the women at BNZ, a scholarship will be available for someone who is not yet at a senior level, but shows real promise in terms of her ambition and potential. It’s a wonderful way to honour Ivy’s trailblazing contribution to BNZ and the very significant contribution women continue to make to our business.”

If you’d like to know more, or to register your interest, please email, and we’ll share more details about the scholarships and the application process once they’re open.

While International Women’s Day is a great chance to reflect on where we’ve come from, I challenge you all to think ambitiously about the future. Together, let’s press for progress.