Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender-Equality Index expands to 325 global firms
GEI data reveals female-led companies have more women in other top roles, and that companies are increasingly focusing on attracting female customers
Bloomberg will include 325 companies from 42 countries and regions in its 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), up from the 230 companies across 36 countries and regions in last year’s index. The GEI tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency.
“Year over year, Bloomberg’s gender reporting framework continues to expand the universe of environmental, social and governance (ESG) data available to investors globally by providing more in-depth metrics from a broad range of public companies across 50 industries,” says Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “This level of transparency into how companies are tackling gender equality in the workplace and their local communities is fuelling financial decision-making around the world, and is supporting the business case for an inclusive corporate environment.”
For the first time, firms headquartered in the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland and Russia are reporting gender-related data. Bloomberg expanded the types of metrics included in the GEI framework this year, with companies reporting on information such as the likelihood a woman will remain employed at the firm following parental leave (82%), the availability of on-site lactation rooms (69%), and sponsorship of STEM education programs for women (64%). Firms included in the index have a combined market capitalization of US$12 trillion, up from US$9 trillion last year.
“For Santander, publicly disclosing our data through the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index is an important discipline not only in evaluating our internal practices, but also in helping us understand how we are performing relative to our peers,” says Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Santander. “Our continued inclusion in the index underscores Santander’s ongoing commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all our employees and also to supporting gender equality in our communities.”
Change begins at the top
According to the findings from this year’s index, companies led by a female CEO reported having more women in senior management positions than companies with a male CEO. Female-led organizations also had more women in the top 10% of compensation than male-led firms, and more women in revenue-producing roles.
Further, the 64% of firms that have a chief diversity officer (CDO) were more likely to have D&I goals included in senior management performance reviews (59% compared to 20% of firms without a CDO). Firms with a CDO were also more likely to require a diverse slate of candidates for management positions (67% compared to 31% of firms without a CDO).
Focus on the female customer
Not only did the 2020 GEI show that companies are focusing on attracting a gender-diverse customer set, but more are evaluating advertising and marketing materials for gender bias than in previous years.
Of the companies included in the index, 78% evaluate their marketing materials for bias, up from 68% last year. Further, nearly half (46%) of the firms measure retention of female customers, and 57% track customer satisfaction by gender where applicable.
Companies reporting public targets
For the first time this year, the GEI framework tracked which companies were going public with their goals to close the gender gap. Specifically, 39% of firms in the GEI have public targets to increase female leadership, while 16% have announced public plans on how they plan to close the pay wage gap.
“While there is still a long way to go for gender parity in the workplace, public disclosure of gender-related data enables companies to share best practices and further their industry’s approach to diversity and inclusion,” says Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO of Catalyst, a nonprofit that works towards progress for women at work. “The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index is leading the way in disclosure in this area, helping to drive change from the top down at some of the world’s largest employers.”
The GEI measures gender equality across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand. The firms included in this year’s index scored at or above a global threshold established by Bloomberg to reflect a high level of disclosure and overall performance across the framework’s five pillars.
The GEI’s standardized reporting framework allows investors to compare how companies around the world are investing in women in the workplace, the supply chain, and the communities in which they operate. Submitting data by using the Bloomberg gender reporting framework is voluntary and has no associated costs. The GEI is a reference index and is not for use as a financial benchmark. The index is not ranked.
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