The pay equity gap in banking

Meet Angela Mentis. She took over as the BNZ chief executive earlier this year. She transferred from the National Australia Bank, the parent company of the BNZ. She is clearly a very successful executive.

She is also the highest paid banking executive in New Zealand. quote.

Bank of New Zealand’s new chief executive Angela Mentis had the highest statutory pay packet of the New Zealand bank chiefs this year edging out ANZ boss David Hisco who runs New Zealand’s largest bank.

She received statutory remuneration of $3.8m (A$3.57million), according to the bank’s annual report.

That was higher than Hisco’s $3.76m (A$3.53m) despite ANZ New Zealand’s profit of nearly $2b being almost double that of the BNZ. end quote.

Well, this lady ticks all the boxes for the feminists. Chief executive of a bank. A pay packet of nearly $4 million. Obviously, she is very good at her job.

Have we heard anything from the feminists, praising BNZ for appointing a female into the top job?

No. Didn’t think so. quote.

Mentis moved over from BNZ parent National Australia Bank to take up the top job at the start of the year meaning three months of her pay package was for her previous role as chief customer officer business and private banking.

But her move to New Zealand seems to have done little to damage her earning power with Mentis the third highest paid executive still working for the NAB group behind chief executive Andrew Thorburn and chief technology officer Patrick Wright.

A BNZ spokesman said the CEO’s salary was set by the board who look at individual performance, skills, experience, capability and market data.

“The salary reflects the huge complexity of the role in a changing and dynamic environment.” end quote.

I do not begrudge her one cent of it. She is a success in a tough environment, and I don’t mean just for women. Banking is a tough sector for anybody.

And – hey! She is not the only one doing well in banking either. quote.

New ASB bank chief executive Vittoria Shortt’s pay package was also high despite it only including her time in her previous role at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Shortt earned nearly $2.9m in total remuneration during the seven months before she stepped up to lead the local branch of the bank in February.

Shortt, who moved from a group executive role at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to head up the ASB bank, earned A$2.7m ($2.88m) between July and February when she jumped the Tasman to take on the current job. end quote.

What is going on? Why do we have two female banking chief executives in New Zealand? That can’t be right. We need quotas to ensure that women are represented in boardrooms everywhere. Just what exactly do these women think they are doing, getting there all by themselves?

I suspect that these women have worked hard, set themselves career goals, made sacrifices for their careers and have now started to reap the rewards. In other words, they have got to the top in their careers by doing what men do. Exactly what men do.

In the meantime, next time you read an article about how the gender pay gap will ‘never’ be closed, think about Angela Mentis and Vittoria Shortt who, instead of screaming from the rooftops about how unfair things are to women, rolled up their sleeves, got the qualifications they needed, stayed focused and eventually made it to the top. Hard work, planning and focus beat whining and complaining every time.

And no one can say these women were given their roles because they are women. To become the chief executive of a bank, you really do have to know what you are doing. Unlike politicians, it seems.

You really cannot say fairer than that. Girls really can do anything. Just let them get on with it.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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