Subscribe to get our latest investment news and insights straight to your inbox.

Perennial Better Future’s focus on prioritising women’s leadership continues

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Perennial Better Future Trust took some significant steps in 2023 to increase the number of women at both board and executive levels in its portfolio companies.

The 2023 Perennial Better Future Impact Statement, highlights that another 8 female non-executive directors were appointed at 7 companies in the Trust’s portfolio. Since the Trust’s inception in February 2018, a total 73 female directors have been appointed to company boards in the portfolio.The Trust’s Co-Head of ESG and Equities Analyst Emilie O’Neill says, “Enhancing the role of women at a board and executive level is a real focus and now we are seeing a marked improvement in achieving gender balance.”

“In the companies we invest in, women comprise 32 per cent of the management teams and 39 per cent of board positions. In addition, 18 per cent of our portfolio companies have a female chair compared with 12 per cent in the ASX Small Ordinaries benchmark.”

While Madeleine Huynh, ESG and Equities Analyst for the Better Future Strategy, says many of these appointments have occurred after active involvement by the Trust. “In March 2023, we hosted our Inaugural Perennial Diverse Boards Speed Networking Event as a collaborative effort between Perennial Better Future, Perennial Private Investments and Perennial Smaller Companies boutiques that connected 13 portfolio companies with 16 female directors.”

In 2022, Perennial became an active member of the 40:40 Vision, an investor-led initiative working towards gender-balanced executive teams by 2030. The Vision seeks to bring transparency and accountability to companies’ commitments to gender diversity in senior leadership and calls for at least 40 per cent women in executive teams by 2030. [40:40 stands for 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender.]

Huynh adds, “We aim to continue facilitating valuable connections with the goal of increasing gender diversity on boards. We have been appointed the lead investor for several portfolio companies for the 40:40 Vision and have been taking charge of conversations with these corporates on enhancing the representation of women in their executive teams.”

O’Neill concludes: “The Trust believes the collective support of the ASX300 and investors are critical to achieving gender-balanced executive teams that will help strengthen corporate governance and performance for shareholders.

While there are positive diversity outcomes noted in the report, the report also highlights other ESG progress across portfolio companies achieved in the period. In 2023, the Perennial Better Future team conducted 109 dedicated ESG engagements with management teams and boards across 44 portfolio companies. Key topics discussed included Cyber Security, Gender Diversity, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions disclosures & alignment with the Paris Agreement and Modern Slavery & Ethical Supply Chain. As at 31 December 2023, the weighted carbon intensity (WACI) of the portfolio was 82.9% less than the ASX Small Ordinaries benchmark and 84.2% less than the ASX300 (based on Scope 1 and 2 CO₂ emissions).

To access the Perennial Better Future Impact Statement 2023, please click here.


Read the original article on AdviserVoice.

Licensed by Copyright Agency. You must not copy this work without permission.