AustralianSuper puts investment managers and investee companies 'on notice' for gender equality

Heather Ridout, chair of AustralianSuper, has put the onus further out onto investment managers and companies that the large super fund invests in to make sure their companies are abiding by gender equality principles, and thus maintaining their fiduciary responsibility. 

The ASX's gender equity report, part of an initiative by the United Nations, shows that 22 per cent of ASX200 companies have women on their boards, which is an increase of seven per cent on 2012 numbers. This is encouraging, and shows shifts are happening, however only five per cent of company chief executives are women on ASX-listed companies. 

AustralianSuper recently wrote formally to 15 ASX companies asking them to explain their lack of women on their boards. It is common knowledge that diversity on boards gets better financial results (at minimum), so working from a fiduciary level, this is a question that must be answered, says Ridout.