Improving Gender Diversity across HESTA’s Investment Value Chain

by HESTA

(Business)

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Improve the level of gender diversity across HESTA’s investment value chain including our external investment managers, boards of directors and executives.

Project implemented: June 2017 - in progress

Project goal

Improve the level of gender diversity across HESTA’s investment value chain.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Increasing the number of women in decision making roles not only impacts the quality of decision making in the largest companies, but also helps set the right strategies for women across these companies’ workforces. We hope this will set standards of best practice across the private sector. Additionally, by raising awareness and sharing best practices to improve diversity in investment management, we aim to impact attraction and retention of female talent. This can broaden the pool of future talent both the investment management and superannuation industry in years to come.

impact to date

232
women - board member or CEO of ASX200 companies

- Create a baseline of the number of women in KMP (Key management personnel) roles in ASX200 companies to track year on year progress. - Encourage the setting of targets to hold companies accountable for the level of diversity in senior leadership. - Raise awareness in the investment management industry about the lack of diversity in investment decision-making roles (by December 2018). - Create a baseline to track investment manager diversity year-on-year. - Share best practices and case studies with investment managers to encourage them to attract and retain female talent (by December 2018). - Support the development of tools and resources to attract diverse talent to the investment management industry through the creation of an Employee Value Proposition (by August 2018).

HESTA believes diverse teams make better decisions, and therefore that helping achieve target 5.5 of the SDGs across all teams involved in value creation of our investments, will help improve retirement outcomes for HESTA members.

  • Engagement with investment managers: The HESTA investment model involves using external investment managers to help us invest on behalf of our members. Therefore, we surveyed managers to understand the number of women that are involved in investment decision making and also what initiatives they are undertaking to improve diversity. This will allow us to create a baseline to track progress year on year. We also want to share with them best practices we identify across the industry and case studies of how they have been applied.
  • Engagement with ASX200 Companies: HESTA has been advocating for board diversity for many years. This includes supporting our partners ACSI and the 30% Club in pursuing of a target of having 30% women on listed companies’ (ASX200) boards by 2018. Last year HESTA CEO Debby Blakey wrote to 172 companies to encourage more diversity on their boards and to set targets for improving diversity at the executive level.
  • Additionally, we have developed a baseline of the companies’ level of diversity at Key Management Personnel (KMP) level. This year we intend to engage with a selected number of companies to encourage them to incorporate diversity in their strategic plans and set targets to increase the number of women in decision making roles.
  • The future of investment management and superannuation: We believe the investment management industry currently lacks diversity and we want to encourage more women to consider it a as a career choice. This is why we are working on an industry-wide initiative to develop an Employee Value Proposition to provide more women the tools and resources needed to join the investment management industry. This project will be launched in August.

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