Women in Banking ANZ

Women in Banking ANZ

Antonia Watson

Managing Director, Retail and Business Banking

As jobs go, Antonia Watson’s is a big one. The decisions she and her team make have a direct impact on the lives of almost 1 in 2 New Zealanders who have a relationship with ANZ.

“It’s a huge responsibility, but also incredibly rewarding,” says Antonia. Bankers are in a unique position to help people build their financial security and wellbeing. The best part of my job is hearing from customers how we’ve helped them get ahead – whether that’s helping them buy a home, start a business, or protect their families.”

Continuous Learning

Antonia has some simple advice for a successful career – never stop learning.

“I’ve had some brilliant bosses and mentors and learning from how they do things has been incredibly helpful. Observing how they always think about people first, adapt their approach to suit the situation, and make decisions when they need to, has helped me shape my own leadership style.”

“Stay open to new challenges because that’s how you grow. For example, try to take work off your boss – it’s a great way to show you’re ready for the next role.  At the same time, empower your team to take on new things – it will help them grow and give you space to think more strategically.

“It’s also important to be proactive. If there’s something you’re interested in, let people know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In my experience, most people are only too happy to share their knowledge. They just need to be asked.”

Cassandra Lee

Senior Manager, Migrant Business and Community Development

“A complete accident!” That’s how Cassandra Lee describes her decision to join ANZ. But 22 years later she’s still here – and enjoying it more than ever.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished studying.” says Cassandra, “A friend who worked in banking suggested I apply. To my surprise I absolutely loved it! I still do. I actually feel like I’ve had a whole lot of different careers within the same company.

“I’ve always loved frontline roles. When I arrived in New Zealand from Hong Kong, I really missed my network of family and friends. But through ANZ, I’ve built new networks with colleagues and customers which have turned into lasting friendships.

In my current role I’m privileged to help other migrants through the experience of moving to New Zealand – from setting up accounts before they even arrive, to helping them get settled and succeeding in their new lives here.

Seizing Opportunities

“I’ve been lucky to have some fantastic managers who believed in me and encouraged me to do things I didn’t think I could do. But you have to have faith in yourself too. Don’t wait until people tell you that you can do something. Take opportunities when they arise and always give 100% to whatever role you take on.

“I think the secret to success is always looking for ways to make a meaningful contribution, both at work and in your community. If you do that, the rewards will follow.”

 Mary Sadhu

Senior Business Banking Manager, Newmarket

“Banking isn’t about money,” says Mary Sadhu. “It’s really all about people.” That philosophy has seen Mary build a highly successful career since she joined ANZ 14 years ago.

“I love working in frontline roles where I can meet all sorts of people, build relationships with them and help them achieve their goals, and working at ANZ has given me some amazing opportunities to do that. I help customers right across the business lifecycle, from starting their business to helping them grow it – sometimes to the point where they’re so big they move to our Commercial team. It’s a bit like seeing your children grow up and leave home!

Creating Wealth Creators

“It’s incredibly satisfying to see your customers succeed. One customer always thanks me for making him a millionaire, because of our help with his portfolio and business! But what’s really special is helping customers with other parts of their life too – buying a home, investing for the future and helping their children.

“I think the key to a rewarding career is networking – both inside and outside your job. Being president of my Rotary club has been an amazing experience for me. Meeting people from all walks of life and dealing with the multiple tasks and pressures involved has really helped me develop my confidence and leadership skills. Always take every opportunity to meet people and build meaningful connections because whatever career you choose, it really is all about people.”

Rosalie Abraham

Branch Manager, Waiheke Island

Following her dream has led Rosalie Abraham to a successful new career and a new life, in a new country.

Rosalie qualified with a Bachelor of Accountancy and finished two Master’s Degrees – in Business Management and in Business Finance in the Philippines and worked as an Accountant when she first arrived in New Zealand. But realising that her passion was people and not paperwork, she made the leap to a customer-facing role.

“I started as a casual teller with ANZ in 2011 – and the rest is history!” says Rosalie. “I’ve worked hard to continuously build my skills and experience in all the different roles I’ve had. And now I have a wonderful job leading a fantastic team of people at the Waiheke branch.

Helping first homebuyers

“I enjoy working as part of a team and collaborating to get things done – after all, two brains are better than one! I get genuine satisfaction from helping my team develop their skills and go further in their own careers. I’m lucky that with my role I’m also still able to help customers get into a new home – especially when it’s their first home.

“My best advice is what many of my managers have told me – always be yourself. Be genuine, be open to new things and be willing to help in whatever role or situation you find yourself in. If you stay true to yourself and do things for the right reasons, you will get noticed.”


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