Women-led super funds continue to shine

Superannuation funds with more women in leadership roles are adding up to $55,000 to member balances, according to new insights.

Latest Rainmaker figures show super funds with greater female representation on boards and leadership teams achieve greater returns for members.

Funds with above-average gender diversity in leadership achieved annual returns of 9.6% and 8% over one and three years respectively.

In contrast, funds with less than average female representation in leadership earned 8.7% and 7.6% over the same periods.

While an extra 40 basis points may seem small over a year, it could actually add an extra 11% or $55,000 to the average working member's retirement savings over time, Rainmaker executive director of research Alex Dunnin said.

The figures are a clear reminder of why board and management diversity matters, he said.

"It highlights that businesses that kick these goals have more perspectives in their ranks to make better decisions and are therefore more profitable," he said.

Super funds with a higher percentage of women in leadership had a 71% incidence of outperformance over the three years to June 2018. Those with lower female representation had an incidence of just 47%.

CareSuper, HESTA, VicSuper, Energy Super and Tasplan achieved the highest diversity scores in the annual SelectingSuper W-Index, measuring the gender diversity of boards and leadership teams.

The average score was 30%, meaning typically three in 10 fund leaders are women.

In terms of overall representation of women in super, the numbers show this has remained steady at 30% since 2016.

Rainmaker analysed single strategy, default MySuper products offered by not-for-profit funds totaling about $860 billion in funds under management. The returns are dated 30 June 2018.

Read more: RainmakerAlex DunninCareSuperEnergy SuperHESTAMySuperSelectingSuper W-IndexTasplanVicSuper
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