A word on ‘equity’ versus ‘equality’
Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment, or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.
Gender equity and gender equality are not one and the same, although they’re closely linked. While gender equality is about achieving equal outcomes for women and men, gender equity recognises that in order to do so, different treatment may be required for one group versus another, as not all groups will necessarily be starting from the same position.
Why it’s important
Gender equity is important because we know that due to a number of factors, women generally retire with less superannuation than their male peers. This matters to us because over two thirds of our members are female and we want all our members to get the future they want.
In our investments we promote gender equity, diversity and inclusion on company Boards because we believe that gender diversity provides different perspectives, and this diversity of thought and experience leads to better decision-making.
We also believe that gender equity is important in how we operate our Fund – from representation on the VicSuper Board, right through to the policies and practices we have in place to support our team members in the workplace.
What is VicSuper doing about gender equity?
Addressing the super gender gap
In addressing the super gender gap, VicSuper supports the Make Super Fair campaign through Women in Super. Make Super Fair advocates for changes to policy that unfairly impacts women and their super and ultimately their retirement. In addition, through our Super Woman Money Program – which is available to VicSuper members and non-members alike – we provide education specifically designed to support women in developing their financial capability.
Supporting gender equity within VicSuper
Currently at VicSuper, more than half the VicSuper Board are women, including our Deputy Chair. Close to half of our employees are also female. We offer a number of entitlements to support all our employees in managing work-life balance, such as Flexible Work arrangements, Community Involvement Leave, Grandparents Leave and Paid Parental Leave including payments of superannuation contributions during the leave.
Advocating for gender equity when we invest
Within our investments, we advocate for gender equity, diversity and inclusion as a priority objective in our engagement with the companies we invest in. This is part of our commitment to being active owners. Active ownership involves influencing the activity or behaviour of investee companies through engaging for positive change and voting our eligible shares.
VicSuper is a member of the 30% Club. Established in the UK in 2010, the now global organisation promotes the benefits of diversity at all levels of business, and campaigns for greater representation of women in senior management and on boards.