40:40 Vision

Working towards gender balanced executive teams by 2030

40:40 Vision is an initiative led by HESTA, supported by industry partners, to pursue diversity in executive leadership in ASX300 companies. Supporting partners include Chief Executive Women, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), and the 30% Club.
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40:40 Vision Progress Report 2023

Our inaugural 40:40 Vision Progress Report summarises the findings of a signatory company survey, and a list of recommended actions for companies and investors to consider.





ASX300 diversity data and targets


 * Source: CEW ASX300 Senior Executive Census data





40:40 Vision is an investor-led initiative seeking to achieve gender balance in executive leadership across all ASX300 companies by 2030.

40:40 Vision seeks to move beyond tokenism to achieve this through business-oriented structural transformation, encouraging companies to set and publicly report on progress against composition targets for executive leadership.

40:40 stands for:

  • 40% identifying as women
  • 40% identifying as men
  • 20% identifying as any gender.


This initiative is led by investors and key stakeholders in the diversity and inclusion space.



We are looking for structural change, by encouraging ASX300 companies to set medium and long-term targets for their executive leadership teams, with a pledge to achieve gender balance by 2030.

Research1 shows that organisations that set quantitative composition targets for executive leadership are more likely to achieve balanced representation of men and women at this level.

We recognise the complexity and differences in organisational structure among ASX300 companies. Therefore, 40:40 Vision is designed to achieve one common ambitious outcome without being overly prescriptive in its approach to diversity and inclusion. 

1 https://www.asx.com.au/documents/asx-compliance/asx-corp-governance-kpmg-diversity-report.pdf


Having women in leadership positions improves performance. 

WGEA and the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) released findings1 on 19 June 2020 that an increase in the share of female ‘top-tier’ managers by 10 percentage points or more led to a 6.6% increase in the market value of Australian ASX-listed companies, worth the equivalent of AUD$104.7 million.

However, research also shows that with current growth patterns, we cannot expect to see equal representation of women and men at CEO level until 21002.  Similar projections apply for executive leadership (CEO-1).

1 https://www.wgea.gov.au/newsroom/media-releases/more-women-at-the-top-proves-better-for-business

2 https://bcec.edu.au/publications/gender-equity-insights-2019-breaking-through-the-glass-ceiling


40:40 Vision will see ASX300 companies pledging their commitment and putting plans in place to drive and embed structural change across their organisation and the ASX300.

To support this goal, 40:40 Vision will:

  • track gender split across all ASX300 companies and against the 40:40:20 target
  • recognise signatories to 40:40 Vision and how they are tracking against their pathway targets
  • become a platform for sharing case studies and excellence in practice. 



  1. Pledge to achieve gender balance (40:40:20) in executive leadership by 2030.
  2. Declare medium and long-term gender targets.
  3. Make their plan public to employees, shareholders, investors and the business community.
  4. Report annually on how they are tracking against targets.


Investors can get involved by signing the investor statement, and committing to:

  • actively engage with companies on the gender diversity of their executive team to convey the high level of importance that we and our clients and members, place on this issue
  • encourage companies to sign on to 40:40 Vision to demonstrate their long-term commitment to achieving gender balance
  • hold companies to account on meeting their gender balance targets and commitments under 40:40 Vision. 

To get involved and sign the 40:40 Vision investor statement, please get touch with us.


Get in touch







steering committee


Debby Blakey 

Debby Blakey has been CEO of HESTA since 2015.

She has more than 25 years’ experience in super and financial services, including 12 years as founder and principal of an employee benefits consultancy.

Debby’s leadership of the $83 billion fund is dedicated to responsible investment, and she has overseen HESTA’s commitment to a Climate Change Transition Plan which is on target to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050.

On behalf of HESTA’s more than one million members (80% women) Debby is a strong advocate for a fairer financial system that prioritises their financial security.

Debby is the President of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, a Director of the International Corporate Governance Network and Chair of the 40:40 Vision initiative.

Debby holds a Bachelor of Science with majors in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and a graduate of the AICD.

“Companies with greater gender diversity in senior leadership perform better, demonstrate greater productivity and stronger decision making – and this creates long-term value for HESTA’s 1 million plus members, 80% of whom are women. HESTA is proud to launch 40:40 Vision to achieve gender equality at the highest levels of corporate Australia and create a fairer world for all Australians.”



Louise is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). ACSI is a collaboration of Australian and international superannuation funds that collectively own on average 10 per cent of every ASX200 company. ACSI’s objective is to improve the environmental, social and governance performance of the companies in which our members invest.

Appointed CEO in April 2015, Louise has more than 20 years senior experience in the financial services and superannuation industry.  She joined ACSI from Cbus, where, as Investment Manager, ESG, she was responsible for the integration of ESG issues within Cbus’ investment processes.

In 2015 Louise was named Victoria’s Local Hero in the Australian of the Year Awards for her work as the co-founder of the Mother’s Day Classic Walk/Run for Breast Cancer Research.  Established in 1998, this national event has raised over $37m for breast cancer research.  In 2019, Louise was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the superannuation and funds management sectors, and to breast cancer research.

Louise is the Chair of the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation and a Director of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Mary Wooldridge commenced as Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) in May 2021. She leads the Agency in driving change in workplaces utilising a dataset covering more than 4.3 million employees or over 40% of the Australian workforce.

Mary brings to the role a wealth of experience from a distinguished career in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Mary served from 2006 to 2020 in the Victorian Parliament and from 2010 to 2014 was the Minister for Mental Health and Community Services and for the first three years also as the Minister for Women’s Affairs. As Minister, Mary worked to implement the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and was instrumental in establishing Our Watch, the national family violence prevention agency.

Prior to being elected to Parliament, Mary was the CEO of The Foundation for Young Australians and worked with McKinsey & Company and Consolidated Press Holdings.

WGEA is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. Our vision is for women and men to be equally represented, valued and rewarded in the workplace. 


David is IFM Investors’ Chief Executive, responsible for executing the firm’s strategy and delivering strong results for IFM Investors’ clients, shareholders and staff. David leads IFM’s global business, with nine offices and four investment teams: Infrastructure, Debt Investments, Listed Equities and Private Equity.

David joined IFM Investors from the Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, which he joined in 2007 as its inaugural Chief Investment Officer before becoming the Chief Executive Officer in 2014. At the Future Fund, he established the investment team and built and designed the Fund’s investment model. Prior to joining the Future Fund, David spent 15 years with Willis Towers Watson, where he started his career in the UK. He went on to establish and lead the firm’s investment consulting business in Australia. As Head of Investment Consulting at Willis Towers Watson Australia, David led the team providing advisory services to the Future Fund when it was established in 2006.

“I believe greater gender balance across executive leadership and all levels of a business ensures a diversity of viewpoints and experience at the table, which leads to better decision making that, ultimately, drives long-term investment performance.”


Susan joins the 40:40 Vision in her role as Chair of the Investor Working Group of the 30% Club in Australia.  Susan has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry including as CEO and Managing Director for Lazard Asset Management Pacific and Director - Strategy for Lend Lease Investment Services (MLC).  She is a full-time non-executive Director on the Boards of a number of companies in Australia and Asia, in the funds management, insurance, health and fintech sectors.  Susan was previously a Director of Women in Super.  She is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute of Australia and is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Sydney.

Mark is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and is based in Sydney.

He had been the Chief Financial Officer of CFSGAM from January 2008 –December 2012, before re-joining the company in October 2017 as CFO and COO, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in September 2018.

Prior to re-joining the business, Mr Steinberg was Group Chief Financial Officer and Group Chief Operating Officer of Cover-More Group Limited, an Australian Securities Exchange listed company, and where he oversaw several acquisitions before Cover-More was acquired in April 2017.

Prior to his time at Cover-More, Mr Steinberg was the Chief Financial Officer at Colonial First State and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Advice business. He also previously worked for Macquarie Bank, where he was a Divisional Director, and Vodafone, where he was Chief Financial Officer of the Australian and New Zealand businesses and Finance Director of the Japanese business.

Mr Steinberg is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand and a Senior Fellow of FINSIA.

“As a long-term investor, we see gender balance as a business issue and we believe investors can have a positive impact on the companies they invest in by engaging constructively with them.”


In her role as Head of Sustainability Investment Specialists, Danielle leads a global team that supports end-to-end client sustainability propositions, including incubating sustainability commercialisation ideas, owning the sustainability narrative, and leading the development of sustainability training.

As Head of APAC Sustainability, and Head of the Sustainability Institute, APAC Danielle develops and leads ESG strategy for the region, supports the integration of ESG factors into investment decision-making across Asia-Pacific, and advocates for the importance of sustainability capabilities with clients and other stakeholders across the region.

Previously, Danielle was Head of ESG for the Victorian Funds Management Corporation and held senior roles in consulting and superannuation focusing on sustainability investing. Danielle has over 20 years of industry experience, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance from Kaplan, a Masters of Environment from The University of Melbourne, and a Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) from Monash University.

Deanne joined Aware Super as Chief Executive Officer in 2018.

As one of Australia’s largest super funds, Deanne has led Aware Super’s drive to be a ‘Force for Good’ through its responsible investment philosophy and focus on providing its members with the best guidance and advice for retirement.

She has with more than 25 years’ leadership experience in financial services in wealth, superannuation and insurance sectors in Australia and internationally. This includes time as Managing Director with Merrill Lynch Investment management in New York, and as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company in London.  

Before joining Aware Super, Deanne was Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Australia and also held senior roles within BT Financial Group including as General Manager for Superannuation, Marketing and Direct Channels.

A hallmark of Deanne’s career has been a passionate commitment to building and maintaining a strong culture and clearly defined purpose to drive business success.


Pauline is a non-executive director of Mercer Superannuation Australia Limited, Chief Executive Women non-executive director and Chair - Policy and Engagement Committee. Pauline is also Chair of Interaction Disability Services, K2fly limited and Governance Institute of Australia.

Pauline is recognised as an expert in governance, risk management and public policy and for taking on difficult issues within organisations.

She has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, including as a senior regulator with ASIC, various directorships on listed and fiduciary entities, senior executive and CEO positions and as an international adviser on pensions governance.

Marie Festa joined as CEO of Chief Executive Women (CEW) in July 2023 with almost 20 years’ experience in corporate and ASX listed companies across several industries including property, fintech, mining, and transport logistics.

Prior to joining CEW, Marie held the position of Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at top 100 ASX listed property company Vicinity Centres. Before that, she was Executive Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations at former top 20 ASX fintech company, Afterpay and Head of Culture and Reputation at ASX listed property company Mirvac Group.

In her various executive leadership roles, Marie has been responsible for communications, human resources, investor relations, sustainability, safety, security and innovation and has managed relationships with media, investors and other key stakeholders. She has also provided strategic communications advice to Boards and executive teams in areas such as issues and crisis management, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, brand, industrial relations and safety.

BEco/Econ (Hons) MAICD

Amanda has led Perpetual Group’s Australian Asset Management business since 2020 which includes Australian Equities, Credit, Fixed Income, Global Equities and Multi Asset investment capabilities across both the Perpetual and Pendal brands. Amanda is also a Director of Perpetual Investment Management Limited, Pendal Fund Services Limited, Pendal Institutional Limited and Perpetual Equity Investment Company Limited (ASX: PIC).

Under Amanda’s leadership, Perpetual has been named Fund Manager of the Year in both the annual Zenith Awards and Lonsec Awards, recognition of investment excellence across multiple capabilities and commitment to clients.

Amanda has more than 29 years of investment experience in asset management and investment research. Prior to joining Perpetual, Amanda was CEO of Lonsec where she played a key role in building out Lonsec’s investment and superannuation research and consulting capabilities. Prior to Lonsec, Amanda spent six years at BT Funds Management where she held various roles across global equities and asset allocation.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Economics/Econometrics (Hons) degree from Monash University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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