6 September 2023
HESTA statement on Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census
Attributable to HESTA CEO Debby Blakey:
CEW's Senior Executive Census underscores the stance of institutional investors like HESTA, who advocate for transformation within corporate Australia.
Our 40:40 Vision investor survey last week showed that investors want to see clear targets for gender diversity, comprehensive gender diversity strategies, and transparent reporting mechanisms to accelerate workplace gender equality.
CEW’s latest report further evidences HESTA’s view that gender balance in leadership is a strategically sound business choice. Evidence informs us that gender balance in business can foster improved performance, enhanced corporate governance, and increased profitability. For HESTA, this is critical in helping us in our aims of delivering long-term value and increased financial security in retirement for our 1 million plus members.
CEW's Senior Executive Census is a clarion call for increased gender diversity across Australia's corporate landscape. The report emphasises the transformative potential of embracing diversity, and our latest 40:40 Vision investor survey demonstrates the resounding support it enjoys from institutional investors who acknowledge the tangible financial advantages.
The latest CEW report highlights some progress.
All ASX100 companies have at least one woman on their executive team for the first time. Importantly, we have seen an increase in the number of ASX companies setting gender composition targets for their executive teams, which is crucial as companies that set targets are three times more likely to achieve gender balance than those without targets.
However, corporate Australia has been standing at the threshold of transformational change for some time, and HESTA believes the incremental pace of change needs to be faster.