It didn’t take long for this to change. In fact it was (ANZ forebear) ES&A Bank which was the first bank to employ a woman into a frontline role.
Former bank manager Percy Wallis described Madge Mathewson, who worked in the bank’s Caulfield East branch, as the “most capable… teller I ever had”.
While the new recruits often served with distinction – some restrictions remained.
Bank of Australasia policy did not allow the employment of married women, meaning many who served during the war had to resign afterwards.
It wasn’t until World War II that this began to change.
Rather than require female employees to resign at the end of the war an inspector recommended taking the next step and training female clerks as tellers.
While it was not immediately accepted, the bank’s superintendent agreed to allow women to cover lunchtime gaps.
This change accelerated after the war as branches focussed more on customer service which in turn led to the greater employment of women, as ANZ’s advertisements from the time show.