This International Women’s Day we’re reflecting on what’s been done, and what more needs to be done for our members.
Over 80 percent of HESTA members are women. As a gutsy advocate for our members, we invest to influence and advocate for policy change. This International Women's Day, we're celebrating 5 ways we are working towards a #BalanceForBetter.
1. Investing for positive outcomes for women
When we decide who to invest with we look for opportunities that will provide strong returns and where possible, how we can make a difference. Because of this we have chosen to invest with Northern Arc Capital through our investment manager LeapFrog. Northern Arc Capital works with financially excluded households and businesses in India, providing microfinance, affordable housing finance, small business lending, and commercial vehicle funding. Most of Northern Arc Capital’s beneficiaries are women and families and many live in semi-urban and rural areas.
2. Calling for legislative change to help family violence survivors
As a society we need to do more to support women seeking to leave abusive relationships. We think super could be a much needed lifeline. That’s why we have been talking with the Federal Government about changing super rules to allow family violence survivors, as a last resort, to access up to $10,000 of their super.
3. Changing the super rules to support casual and low income workers
Currently, workers who earn less than $450 per month from one employer don’t receive any super. This is due to broken work patterns, people working part-time work or for multiple employers. The workers most often affected by this policy are young people and women. We are pushing for changes to these rules and have made a submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry into women’s economic security in retirement.
4. A top industry super fund for gender equality
For the third year in a row, we have been named as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). We’re fostering diversity and inclusion from within through leadership, learning and development, flexible working and targets for improving gender equality outcomes. The culture fostered at HESTA means continued delivery of leading, long-term performance for our members.
5. Recognising people and groups that advocate for women
In 2018, we recognised the Women's Property Initiatives (WPI) as a finalist in the HESTA Community Sector Awards. WPI currently houses over 200 women and children around Melbourne who are from all walks and stages of life. They may be victims and survivors of family violence to migrants fleeing conflict in their country of origin. The Initiative also helps older women who suddenly find themselves without the financial resources to own a home or pay market rents.