BHP Group, ANZ Bank Commit to Gender Parity in Executive Ranks

BHP Group and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. are among 10 Australian companies that have committed to gender parity in their executive ranks by the decade’s end.

The firms have pledged at least 40% of senior leadership roles will be held by women, 40% by men and the rest from any gender by 2030, the 40:40 Vision investor group said in an emailed statement Thursday. The companies will also set interim targets for 2023 and 2027 and report their progress toward achieving them.

The pledge follows intense pressure on Australia’s biggest companies to lift their performance on gender diversity after sexual harassment scandals last year led to a boardroom clean-out at AMP Ltd. and the departure of QBE Insurance Group Ltd.’s chief executive. Investors BlackRock Inc. and Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia said they’ll vote against directors of S&P/ASX 200 companies if they didn’t plan to reach gender parity within the decade.

“Changing our national culture cannot be achieved without courageous leadership,” HESTA chief executive and 40:40 Vision Steering Committee chair Debby Blakey said in the statement. “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.”

Other companies to sign the initiative are BlueScope Steel Ltd., Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd., IGO Ltd., Ramsay Health Care Ltd., SKYCITY Entertainment Group Ltd., South32 Ltd., Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. and Webjet Ltd.

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