Companies lagging on gender diversity risk 'missing out on top talent'


While the business case for a gender diverse workforce is well established, analysis of jobseeker data shows that, in a tight job market, diversity may give companies a vital edge in the competition for younger female talent.


Research from employment marketplace SEEK has found that when focusing on company reputation as a driver of attraction, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of women aged 18-25 and more than half of women aged 26-41, say diversity in the workplace is a must.

SEEK’s Laws of Attraction data is based on the survey responses of more than 11,500 Australians to help businesses understand what job seekers are looking for.

It also found women in leadership also ranks highly, with nearly 2 in 5 women aged 18-25 saying this is a must-have and differentiates potential employers

Health and community service super fund HESTA founded 40:40 Vision in 2020 as an investor-led initiative to boost gender balance in the executive ranks of ASX 300 companies. HESTA CEO Debby Blakey (pictured above) said investors want to see companies realise the performance dividend that comes from improving the diversity of their workforces.

“We know better gender balance in company leadership means better financial performance, better governance and stronger long-term company value, which can improve the performance of our members’ investments. But what’s apparent from the data is that it’s not just investors who value diversity, jobseekers do too. 

“There’s not a CEO in the country right now who doesn't have the talent challenge at the top of their to-do list and it’s forcing everyone to rethink how they can attract the best people,” Ms Blakey said. 

“Companies who fail to prioritise gender diversity risk missing out on this next wave of talent who are going to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

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