HESTA’s 40:40 Vision initiative has earned another two signatories in the form of the Association of Australian Super Funds (ASFA) and First Sentier.
The initiative aims to increase the proportion of women in senior leadership positions across Australia’s listed companies by at least 40 per cent by 2030. First Sentier has now joined the initiative, with chief executive officer Mark Steinberg becoming a member of the steering group.
“Gender balance is not just crucial to creating a fair and equitable society, it’s also a business issue,” Mr Steinberg said.
“Research shows that having women in leadership positions improves business performance. However, it is taking too long to achieve gender parity at the top levels of management, so we need a more proactive approach. As long-term investors, we believe we can have a positive impact on the companies we invest in by engaging constructively with them.”
ASFA has also backed the campaign, which has drawn support from Aberdeen Standard Investments, BlackRock Australia, Ellerston Capital, Fidelity International, First Sentier Investors, IFM Investors, Pendal Group and WaveStone Capital.
“ASFA commends HESTA and encourages all super funds to sign up to the 40:40 Vision campaign and commit to addressing the current gender imbalance in senior leadership in corporate Australia,” said ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy.
“The next 10 years will see a shift to a more knowledge-intensive economy. If Australia is to achieve its full potential and compete internationally, we cannot afford to continue to ignore the contribution of talented senior women executives.”