The first 10 “trailblazer” ASX 200 companies have announced they will commit to gender balance on their boards by 2030.
Under the business-led initiative launched last year, the 40:40 Vision aims at securing 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender across the executive leadership teams at all ASX 200 companies by 2030.
ANZ and BHP are the latest two ASX 200 companies that have announced they will lift their women participation on boards following announcements from BlueScope, Domino's, IGO, Ramsay Health Care, SkyCity, South32, Tabcorp and Webjet.
While the initiative is gender equality by 2030, the original 10 signatories have publicly set gender-balanced targets of 40 per cent between 2023 and 2027.
HESTA chief executive and 40:40 Vision steering committee chair Debby Blakey welcomed the signatories and said it was encouraging to see such strong corporate recognition of the urgent need to improve gender diversity.
“By creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces, these companies will reap the rewards, because there’s compelling evidence that better gender balance in leadership is not just fairer, but also good for business – resulting in better performance, better profits and better corporate governance,” Ms Blakey said.
The superannuation fund also highlighted the importance of creating more diverse teams as a way to increase returns for members over the longer-term.
“This shows the positive outcomes that can be achieved through constructive engagement between investors and companies. As investors, we share a common goal with companies of improving long-term performance and gender diversity is an important part of that,” she said.
ANZ CEO, Shayne Elliott noted for ANZ to be a thriving, successful company now and into the future we have to recruit and develop the most talented people, which means staying open-minded about how we do that.
“Not only will we continue to attract great talent to our organisation, but our team will better reflect the community we live in, including more women in leadership roles, and committing to the 40:40 Vision helps reinforce that focus,” he said.
Meanwhile BHP’s CEO Mike Henry highlighted the importance of creating diverse teams as they are safer, more productive and make better long-term decisions.
“They improve performance,” he said.
“Since announcing in 2016 our goal to be gender balanced across BHP by 2025, we have increased the proportion of women working at BHP by nearly two thirds, and are now at over 27 per cent overall.
“BHP has a balanced senior executive team and we support the 40:40 Vision and the goal of achieving gender balanced corporate leadership in Australia.”
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