Aware Super, UniSuper, Pinnacle Investment Management and TDM Growth Partners have joined the Future IM/Pact initiative aimed at improving diversity in Australian investing.
Future IM/Pact was founded in 2018 to connect Australia’s top investors with women studying at university and early in their early career, and inform them about a career in investing.
Six of Australia’s 10 largest asset owners are now backers of the program, with the $150 billion Aware Super and the $105 billion UniSuper now sitting alongside the Australian Retirement Trust, QIC, VFMC and HESTA.
“We’re seeing more super funds and investment management firms recognise the importance of working across industry to build the pipeline of female investors,” said Future IM/Pact founder, Yolanda Beattie.
“Having 20 industry partners on board gives us more opportunities to share with our growing pool of female talent, more mentors to support their career journey, and more funding to inspire a passion among more women about a career in this hugely influential industry."
Other partners of Future IM/Pact currently include Australian Ethical, Cbus, Fidelity, Jarden, Macquarie, Mercer, MLC, Munro Partners, Perpetual, Schroders, TCorp and Vinva.
As part of the initiative, events, mentoring and investment competitions are used to inspire and engage young investors and create a talent pool for intern, graduate and analyst roles.
On joining the initiative, Aware Super said that it acknowledged the link between diversity and stronger investment outcomes and further stated that it is committed to redressing the gender super gap through a holistic diversity strategy.
“To address imbalances such as Australia’s 14.1 per cent gender pay gap and its resulting erosion of women’s retirement security, we recognise the need for a wide range of experience and perspectives to make the best investment decisions for our more than 1.1 million members,” said Aware Super CIO, Damian Graham.
“Currently, we have around four times as many men as women apply for investment roles, and we are actively championing initiatives so our industry focuses on attracting women to frontline investment roles.
“It’s also why we are committed to working with our peers through Future IM/Pact.”
UniSuper CIO, John Pearce said that the super fund’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) was a key component of its talent management strategy.
“Different perspectives, experiences and skills are key to high-performing teams. With a significant amount of funds managed in house, we have a lot of scope to develop exceptional talent, which in turn ensures we best deliver for our members,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pinnacle said that building a groundswell of female talent at the grassroots level was a necessary part of the industry’s approach to addressing a lack of gender diversity.
Additionally, TDM Growth Partners stated that people and culture was a critical element of its investment process and said that joining Future IM/Pact was consistent with that philosophy.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.