According to Katrina McPhee, Chief of Staff at Aware Super, during her conversation on The University of New South Wales Business School's podcast, “The Business Of,” the fund is dedicated to leveling the playing field. On average, women retire with a superannuation balance 30% lower than their male counterparts. This disparity amplifies to a worrying 30-40% gap in retirement savings, which contributes to a concerning trend of increased homelessness among retired females.

Aware Super's strategy deviates from the allure of booming industries like oil and gas, refocusing on offerings that not only secure robust returns but also generate tangible societal uplift. Central to this innovative outlook is the key worker affordable housing plan, a build-to-rent program catering to those who shoulder society's most critical roles.

Underpinning this mission is the principle that wealth must not come at the expense of the world's well-being. “Having sufficient retirement funds is essential, but we also need a sustainable world to enjoy it,” says McPhee. With climate change posing an existential threat, Aware Super seeks to reconcile responsible investing with lucrative returns.

The build-to-rent model developed by Aware Super is not merely about real estate management; it's an embodiment of investment with a human touch. This plan allows for the creation of stable and affordable living environments by bypassing the buy-to-own market. Instead, Aware Super steps into the role of long-term landlord, extending reduced rents to vital professionals like teachers, nurses, and police officers.

McPhee argues that the benefits of this approach are twofold. By offering essential workers reasonable rent, these individuals tend to become long-standing tenants who take greater care of their homes. The result is not only a more stable and caring community environment but also a profitable rental operation over time. These communities, as revealed by their tenant stability and communal bonds, exemplify the success of Aware Super's humanitarian investment agenda.

The initiative by Aware Super paves the way for an investment perspective where financial growth aligns harmoniously with social progression. Their methodology shows promise in addressing the uneven playing field in retirement savings and offers a blueprint for other funds to follow. In McPhee's words, this model is proof that strategic investments can and should extend beyond immediate financial returns to nurture a community and world conducive to all life stages.