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Retirement

Big super pushes for gender parity

  • October 05 2020
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Retirement

Big super pushes for gender parity

By Cameron Micallef
October 05 2020

One of Australia’s largest superannuation funds has launched an investor-led initiative that will see women fill at least 40 per cent of the executive roles in the ASX 200 over the next decade.

Big super pushes for gender parity

Big super pushes for gender parity

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  • October 05 2020
  • Share

One of Australia’s largest superannuation funds has launched an investor-led initiative that will see women fill at least 40 per cent of the executive roles in the ASX 200 over the next decade.

Big super pushes for gender parity

HESTA’s announcement follows members’ concerns at the slow rate of progression towards greater gender balance among listed companies.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakely said investors are concerned that just 30 out of the leading 200 companies have at least 40 per cent women in their executive teams.

“It’s concerning progress has been so slow, and at this rate it will be another 80 years before we see equal representation of men and women at CEO level – and similarly in executive leadership – unless action is taken now,” Ms Blakey said. 

“We see lack of gender diversity in leadership as a financial risk – companies that fail to consider 50 per cent of the population for leadership positions risk missing out on the best people, and the performance of the organisation will eventually suffer.”

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HESTA’s 40:40 Vision Investor Statement was launched with eight inaugural signatories representing over $1 trillion in assets under management.

Large investment firms including Aberdeen Standard Investments, BlackRock Australia, Ellerston Capital, Fidelity International, First Sentier Investors, IFM Investors, Pendal Group and WaveStone Capital are all part of the movement.

Investors joining the initiative will commit to engaging with ASX 200 companies to encourage them to sign up to 40:40 Vision and pledge to achieve 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender among C-suite roles by 2030 and to set clear and public targets towards this goal.

“We want to see real, genuine change, not just additional layers of needless reporting and governance that invariably becomes a tick-the-box exercise,” Ms Blakey said.

“As a significant investor, we cannot simply diversify away from risks stemming from social inequality. Investors have real power to engage with ASX 200 companies on the gender diversity of their executive teams and influence change.”

The 40:40 Vision campaign also has the support of industry partners Chief Executive Women, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, 30% Club and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Big super pushes for gender parity
Big super pushes for gender parity
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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