Press Release

QBE pledges to 40:40 Vision for gender balanced executive team

QBE has joined efforts to help promote diversity across ASX 200 listed companies by pledging support for an industry driven 40:40 Vision for gender balance in executive leadership.

QBE Insurance Group CEO Andrew Horton said he was proud to be the first insurer to sign up to the 40:40 Vision which pledges to achieve and maintain gender balance in executive leadership positions. 

The pledge supports a group of Australian companies led by Industry Super Fund HESTA, with a goal to have ASX listed company executive teams (Board and Group Executive Committee) meet the principle of 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender by 2030 – a goal QBE currently meets.  

“This focus on maintaining gender balance at our executive level builds on our existing strong targets for reaching 40 per cent women in leadership by 2025. It indicates our clear commitment to inclusion of diversity, a priority we’re proud of at QBE,” Mr Horton said.

“Women in leadership has been a focus for QBE and while there’s more to do, we have made great strides forward and can proudly say we have met this target at an executive level and will now commit to maintaining it. Not only does our Group Executive Committee already meet the 40:40 principle, but we are pleased the QBE Board will now meet the principle with the recent appointment of Yasmin Allen.” 

“When it comes to gender equality, our approach has been built on bold actions to accelerate the representation of women in leadership positions, investment in the development of a strong talent pipeline and advancement of female leaders.”

“By supporting gender equality we are also prioritising pay equity, recognising that a key driver of gender pay gaps in many organisations is under-representation of women in leadership.”

“We are also actively working to remove the systemic barriers to women’s career development - which includes addressing outdated gendered caring roles, as well as ensuring a workplace culture where all views and perspectives are welcomed and respected.” 

The pledge builds on initiatives already in place at QBE including:

  • A refreshed Global Inclusion of Diversity approach and policy, to support our diverse workforce and ensure all voices are heard
  • The focus on executive leadership builds on a commitment to 40 per cent of women in leadership roles by 2025
  • Investing in Lead In, our flagship female career development program and continuing to participate in additional leadership programs 
  • Performing annual analysis of key drivers of pay in our organisation to assess and reduce pay inequality
  • A focus on supporting parents, including mainstreaming flexible paid parental leave for men and women in Australia and New Zealand with our Share the Care gender neutral parental leave policy.

“Having an inclusive culture makes good business sense and there is evidence businesses with a better gender balance see performance benefits,” Mr Horton said. 

Mr Horton said QBE recently strengthened its women in leadership with the appointments of Sue Houghton as CEO Australia Pacific and Amanda Hughes as Group Chief People Officer. Both Mr Horton and Ms Houghton have also demonstrated their commitment to gender equality, having joined the Champions of Change Coalition. 

For more information:

Natalie Kitchen
Group Head of External Relations
0432 419 533

QBE Australia
PO Box 82, GPO Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
telephone +61 2 9375 4035 facsimile +61 2 9231 6104