IWD2021: meet the women who #ChooseToChallenge

Today may be International Women’s Day but women make contributions to their home, work, industry and community year-round. So many women are choosing to challenge the status-quo to create a better, more balanced future for the generations coming after them. 

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Source: Sarah Wilkins

2020 was a difficult year for everyone but it was particularly difficult for women who suffered disproportionately more economically while shouldering a greater share of caring. Despite this adversity, women continued to show up and push for equality in all aspects of their lives. The articles below shine the spotlight on the women whose stories we have shared via bluenotes and ANZ News over the past year.

Remember, March 8 isn’t the only day we share strong female-led content. Access these insightful stories fortnightly by subscribing to bluenotes. Click HERE to sign up now, it’s free.


08 Mar 2021

Opening up to gender blindness in economic policy

Richard Yetsenga | Chief Economist, ANZ

Through the COVID-19 recession, it was those with the least who have ended up losing the most. Specific economic policy is needed to recover.

08 Mar 2021

Staying Grounded, Dealing with Criticism and Feeling an Imposter

Three of ANZ NZ's senior leaders, all women, have reflected on their roles within the company ahead of International Women's Day.

04 Mar 2021

Challenging the policy dial for equity

Bansi Madhavani | Senior Economist, ANZ

Economies looking to make a strong recovery post-COVID must take into account inclusive policies to enable gender equity.

03 Mar 2021

Quarter of a century of tech revolution – a woman’s perspective

Natalie Phillips | Initiative Lead, ANZ

Natalie Phillips reflects on her 25-year career at ANZ, sharing how technology has changed over time and about being part of the legacy ANZ is helping to shape.

08 Mar 2021

Uneven Results - The Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Women

Liz Kendall | Senior New Zealand Economist at ANZ

The COVID-19 pandemic has had uneven economic impacts on men and women.

22 Feb 2021

Blasting through the bamboo ceiling

Julie Chai | Founder & CEO, The Asian Leadership Project

Order of Australia recipient Jenny Taing reflects on leadership and diversity in the financial services sector.

09 Feb 2021

I may be the first… but I won’t be the last

Katrina Rathie | Partner in Charge - Sydney, King & Wood Mallesons

People from minority communities need to be able to see people like them in the highest positions and know they too can make it.

12 Jan 2021

Rethinking promotions the key to career progression

Kathryn van der Merwe | Group Executive Talent & Culture, ANZ

HR executive Kathryn van der Merwe shares her advice on what companies like ANZ want to see from people looking to advance their career.

23 Feb 2021

Panda Mick: faith and hope – and giving to those in need

Catherine Aguilar | Credit Assessor, Australia Retail & Commercial, ANZ

While most of us in Victoria were barely dragging ourselves out of bed during the state’s second lockdown, ANZ’s Catherine Aguilar was working, managing remote learning - and writing a children’s book.

04 Feb 2021

Spearheading through adversity

Melissa Currie | Program Manager, Business Banking at ANZ

Simone Tilley, Head of Retail Distribution at ANZ reflects on a year like no other, her career highlights and provides her thoughts on the year ahead.

27 Jan 2021

The water cooler has missed you

Amelia Caldwell | Advisory Analyst, Institutional

For ANZ graduate Amelia Caldwell being able to start working from the Sydney office again was a huge positive.

18 Jan 2021

Reflections on COVID & culture

ANZ’s Women in Banking and Finance Award nominees reflect on COVID, diversity and culture in the wake of a year like no other.

19 Jan 2021

Risking a new flight plan

Gemma Simpson | Digital Producer, ANZ

Some may find it risky to change careers in the middle of a pandemic but Sally Tindall is well practiced in managing risk.

28 Jan 2021

Outlook 2021: a digital BaU

How businesses take the next step on digital integration and the use of data will dominate the landscape for transaction banking in 2021.

15 Dec 2020

Finding community in a crisis

Brittannie Edwards | Media Relations Coordinator

The reality of 2020 has brought some of the biggest challenges yet for small business owners, however this baby boutique owner used the closure period to boost her stores online presence.

01 Dec 2020


Meg Dalling | Customer Vulnerability and Accessibility Lead, ANZ

Amid the turbulence of a pandemic, ANZ’s Meg Dalling reflects on a year of building confidence, capabilities and continuing the journey to greater accessibility and inclusion.

30 Nov 2020

Dressing windows through coronavirus

Emily Kratzmann |

Family-run business Perth Window Décor has seen growth during the pandemic.

26 Nov 2020

Shielding against adversity

Emily Kratzmann |

When events across Queensland were cancelled due to COVID-19, this signage company shifted its focus.

24 Nov 2020

100 Miles of banking experience

Gemma Simpson | Digital Producer, ANZ

The Miles family have been working at ANZ for three generations, and have more than 100 years of banking experience among them.

17 Nov 2020

Saying yes paves the way to a bright future

Jemasin Joyce | Banking Consultant, Wollongong, Australia Retail & Commercial, ANZ

ANZ’s Jemasin Joyce shares what it means to be ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award’ material.

30 Nov 2020

Q&A: hiring in a post-COVID world

Expert panel put together by ANZ & Kanganews shares insights into how staffing has changed in the post-pandemic era.

15 Oct 2020

Cultivating female talent in Aus agri

Madeleine Swan | Director of FBA Insights, ANZ

Women in Australian agriculture have historically been under the radar. Opportunities in education and employment are seeing this trend shift.

08 Oct 2020

Driving force to connect rural women

Courteney Kemp | Agribusiness Manager, ANZ

Cattle station, big cities, regional centres and rural towns; Courteney Kemp shares her journey and advice as she leads the next generation of women in Agriculture.

01 Oct 2020

100 years of relationships

ANZ customer Gibbon Group celebrates its 100th year as it goes from strength to strength.

08 Oct 2020

Strong Connections

Based out of Port Augusta in South Australia, ANZ Agribusiness Manager Mikaela Rasmus services a huge area – sometimes having to drive 8 hours one way to meet with her customers.

12 Oct 2020

Working from home: Alexis George

Alexis George | Group Exec - Wealth & Deputy CEO, ANZ

In this new series, we step into the homes and offices of the bank’s executives to learn more about the person behind the desk.

02 Oct 2020

This is the time to be slow

Ami Kui | Executive Assistant, ANZ

Three cities, three lockdowns, a ton of resilience. Ami Kui shares her experience of being in lockdown for the majority of 2020.

29 Sep 2020

Focusing on growth at the top

Shayne Elliott | Chief Executive Officer, ANZ

There aren’t enough women in the executive ranks of Australia’s top companies. A cultural shift is needed to create more diverse pipelines of talent.

17 Sep 2020

Working from home: Kathryn van der Merwe

Kathryn van der Merwe | Group Executive Talent & Culture, ANZ

In this new series, we step into the homes and offices of the bank’s executives to learn more about the person behind the desk.

11 Sep 2020

Working from home: Antonia Watson

Antonia Watson | Group Executive & CEO, ANZ New Zealand

In this new series, we step into the homes and offices of the bank’s executives to learn more about the person behind the desk.

10 Sep 2020

How to begin your career during a pandemic

Joumana Ghazzaoui | Graduate, Australia Retail & Commercial, ANZ

ANZ graduate, Joumana Ghazzaoui worked in the office for a mere four weeks before COVID-19 forced the vast majority of the bank to work from home.

13 Aug 2020

The Green Road Taken

Katharine Tapley | Head of Sustainable Finance at ANZ

Farmers’ daughter, criminal lawyer and 19 year ANZ banker, Katharine Tapley, ANZ’s Head of Sustainable Finance, uses her love and respect for the environment to help companies de-carbonise.

28 Jul 2020

Female financial literacy, participation needed in crisis

Cherelle Murphy | Senior Economist, ANZ

Women are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It’s time for them to take real control of their finances.

28 Jul 2020

Recruitment pathways: from journo to banker

Danielle Darbyshire | Technology Graduate, ANZ

Banks and financial services look beyond finance graduates for the ideal recruit.

09 Jun 2020

ANZ Board Minutes: balancing health, economic responses

Andrew Cornell | Past Managing Editor, bluenotes

Jane Halton reflects on her involvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and her understanding of the economic consequences.

01 Jun 2020

India’s painful “shecession”

Bansi Madhavani & Sanjay Mathur | Economist & Chief Economist Southeast Asia and India, ANZ

The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns have disproportionately impacted women – particularly in India where it was already a major issue.

11 Jun 2020

Nailing a new business

Kate Sutherland | Communications Manager, ANZ

One self-employed nail technician turned a hobby into a life-saving business to cope with the impact of COVID-19.

07 May 2020

Oh baby!

Renee Levett | Creative Content Manager

Twenty-six years since starting baby care business Aromababy, Catherine Cervasio shares her story of adaptability, passion and hopes for the future, post COVID.

27 May 2020

Tips for staying home in the crisis: 1. Buy a home…

Brianne Keogh | Social Impact Manager, ANZ

Buying your first home is a huge step – now throw in a pandemic and what have you got?

26 May 2020

Contact centre wellbeing: why walk when you can moonwalk?

Melissa Currie | Program Manager, Business Banking at ANZ

Throughout COVID-19, calls to the ANZ contact centre have doubled. See how contact centre leaders are helping our people keep their spirits high.

19 May 2020

Jodi goes West: the opportunity for a fresh perspective without bias

Jodi West became Vietnam Country Head after 20 years working in Markets. Here’s how ANZ helped her make the move.

22 Apr 2020

In the blink of an eye

Ami Kui | Executive Assistant, ANZ

I am writing this to you from Hubei, the center of the coronavirus outbreak in China… Ami Kui shares not only what helped her get through, but thrive, during months of isolation.

28 Apr 2020

Work-outs to improve your business fitness

Melissa Currie | Program Manager, Business Banking at ANZ

We’re all feeling the impacts of COVID-19 and we’ve all had to adapt – our small business customers are no exception.

16 Apr 2020

Banking on new tricks

Jemma Wight | Editorial Producer, bluenotes

Older Australians following recommendations to stay home during COVID-19 are taking the opportunity to learn new financial skills.

24 Apr 2020

STREAT eats take to the streets

Renee Levett | Creative Content Manager

A social enterprise built around personal connection, STREAT has been able to adapt to this period of unprecedented restriction on human contact.

20 Apr 2020

Women at the frontline (and the rear) of COVID-19

Cherelle Murphy & Bansi Madhavani | Senior Economist & Economist, ANZ

Women are being left behind in key decisions for COVID-19 even though they are at the frontline of the economic shock.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.