Ten companies have become signatories to the investor-led 40:40 Vision initiative, pledging to improve gender balance in their executive leadership teams within the decade.
Launched last year, 40:40 Vision commits companies who sign on to achieve 40 per cent women in their executive leadership by 2030. Companies also need to publicly set gender targets for 2023 and 2027, and outline their plans for meeting these targets, reporting their progress each year.
The list of ten includes companies that were once called out for having no women on their boards, including Dominos and Ramsay Healthcare, which were both one of five ASX-100 listed entities in 2015 with no female directors.
Other companies making up the first 10 signatories include ANZ, BHP, BlueScope, Domino’s, IGO, Ramsay Health Care, SkyCity, South32, Tabcorp and Webjet.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey is the steering committee chair for 40:40 Vision, and said the initiative was an important part of changing Australia’s corporate culture and getting more women into senior positions, which cannot be achieved without courageous leadership.
“It’s very encouraging to see some of our nation’s largest companies make a strong commitment to increasing the number of women on boards and in executive positions,” Blakey said.
Blakey said the business case for gender equality is clear, and that companies who pledge to improve in this area will experience tangible benefits.
“By creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces, these companies will reap the rewards, because there’s compelling evidence that better gender balance in leadership is not just fairer, but also good for business – resulting in better performance, better profits and better corporate governance.”
“This shows the positive outcomes that can be achieved through constructive engagement between investors and companies. As investors, we share a common goal with companies of improving long-term performance and gender diversity is an important part of that.”
40:40 Vision currently has companies with a market capitalisation worth collectively close to $300 billion – or 13 per cent of the index – signed up to the initiative.
Shayne Elliot, ANZ chief executive officer, said committing to the 40:40 Vision will help the bank thrive into the future.
“We have to recruit and develop the most talented people, which means staying open-minded about how we do that,” Elliot said.
“Not only will we continue to attract great talent to our organisation, but our team will better reflect the community we live in, including more women in leadership roles, and committing to the 40:40 Vision helps reinforce that focus.”