Ingenia Communities today acknowledged the findings of the 2021 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census that tracks gender balance and female representation of Australia’s largest publicly listed companies. For the second year running, Ingenia has ranked second based on gender balance across executive leadership teams and is the highest ranked Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). 

CEO of Ingenia, Simon Owen described the result as extremely pleasing, reflecting a commitment to diversity from the Boardroom across the entire organisation. 

“Women compromise more than one-third of our Company Board and two-thirds of our executive leadership team. Diversity is an integral part of both our culture and operating rhythm, and the survey results demonstrate what we are seeing across our organisation, where a diverse leadership team contributes to better decision-making, company performance and culture, and leads to a greater focus on our residents and customers.  

“Our experience is that it is in every company’s best interest to ensure diversity both in representation and in ideas and thinking – it can have a significant impact on your ability to innovate and grow, and ultimately your bottom line,” Simon said.   

The push to acquire and nurture female talent in Ingenia comes from a top-down approach led by Chairman Jim Hazel, who for many years has mentored prospective female directors through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). 

Ingenia Chief Investment Officer and General Counsel, Natalie Kwok is one executive who was developed through internal channels. She says the proactive actions Ingenia has taken to increase the representation of women in the senior leadership team and traditionally male-dominated areas such as property has created a supportive and positive working environment.   

“The company has always taken a merit and capability-based approach. I am really grateful for the fact that I was not pigeonholed in one field – with Ingenia if you are good at your role, you get opportunities to grow and succeed,” Ms. Kwok said.   

Despite the benefits of diversity and large jobseeker pool (60.4% of university graduates are women), the Census found women still held only 26% of positions in executive leadership teams in the ASX300, with 44 companies having no women in their ELTs at all. Women represent 6% of Chief Executive Officer roles and just over 17% of Chief Financial Officer positions. Research has proven that investors want to align themselves with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including gender diversity, highlighted through statistics from the Census which showed the appointment of a female CEO can contribute a 5% increase in the market value of a company.  

Ingenia is committed to driving diversity across its growing organisation as the benefits are substantial across numerous areas including broadening a company’s range of views, problem-solving skills, and increased knowledge. Diversity will remain a key enabler of business performance for the Group.