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Women Leading the Way at ANZ Samoa: A Business Case for Diversity

Once upon a time, imagining a bank where more than 80 percent of leaders were female might have seemed improbable. Yet, this is now a reality at ANZ Samoa, where the empowerment of women is delivering significant business benefits.

Sucharu (centre right) with Rita (centre left) and other members of the ANZ Samoa team.
Sucharu (centre right) with Rita (centre left) and other members of the ANZ Samoa team.

Sucharu Tandon

Country Head, ANZ Samoa

According to writing (Leading the charge for gender diversity in Samoa) by Sucharu Tandon, Country Head at ANZ Samoa, the country has undergone a profound shift in gender dynamics within both families and the workforce. Post-pandemic, there has been a marked increase in female participation in the workforce. Rita Tugia Enesa, ANZ Samoa Talent and Culture Business Partner, noted, “The role of women within the Samoan family has changed just as much as the role of women in the workforce.” Since 2022, the number of women entering the workforce in Samoa has increased significantly, with women holding strong in the labor market during and after the pandemic. Those who lost jobs in the tourism sector due to closed borders were absorbed into other sectors such as public service, education, commerce, and business services.

Rita shared insights into Samoan traditions, explaining that while men traditionally held decision-making roles, the current generation is more open-minded, often swapping roles for the betterment of their families. ANZ Samoa has embraced this cultural shift, integrating the values of aiga (family), tautua (service), fa’aaloalo (respect), and alofa (love) into its business practices. This inclusive approach has helped attract and retain talent, with women now making up 67 percent of the ANZ Samoa Leadership team and 80 percent of management roles.

ANZ Samoa continues to focus on growing and developing female talent, removing barriers that have historically limited women from advancing into senior roles. This commitment to diversity not only aligns with ethical practices but also drives better business, customer, and community outcomes. Employment data since the border reopening in 2022 shows a promising trend, with female participation at an all-time high. Women in Samoa are achieving success across various fields, including business, academia, public health, and sports.

As Samoa prepares to host the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October, ANZ Samoa looks forward to showcasing how it supports local businesses and connects business leaders across the Pacific network. The bank's success story demonstrates that a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive workforce brings substantial benefits to both customers and the bottom line.

According to Sucharu Tandon, ANZ Samoa’s female participation rates are well ahead of global peers in the financial sector. Embracing the strength of diversity and benefiting from the changing role of women in Samoan culture, the bank continues to thrive and lead by example.

bluenotes is a publication of ANZ's newsroom, a forum for insights, opinion, research and news about the economy, financial services, investment and society, from within ANZ and outside.


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