Although the Threshold for Inclusion in the GEI Has Increased, the Member List Has Grown Significantly.
Today, Bloomberg announced that 418 companies representing a combined market capitalization of USD16 Trillion and headquartered in 45 countries and regions are included in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI helps bring transparency to gender-related practices and policies at publicly-listed companies around the world, increasing the breadth and depth of environmental, social, governance (ESG) data available to investors.
A record number of companies disclosed their data for this year’s GEI by using the GEI Framework, an increase of 20% year-over-year. This demonstrates a growing commitment to gender equality and recognition that the global business community can lead the charge for meaningful change by committing to more transparent reporting and disclosure of social data.
“The changing nature of work due to the pandemic has highlighted the importance of addressing gender equality issues in a rapidly-evolving global workforce,” said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index recognizes companies that are maintaining a strong focus on providing an inclusive work environment that supports the evolving needs of employees and retains the competitive strengths gained through gender diversity, which is increasingly critical in this challenging business environment.”
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The GEI framework scores companies across five key pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand. There are also expanded areas of information requested to support the broader goal of providing more robust ESG data to investors. For example, GEI disclosure data now contributes to Bloomberg’s EEO-1 data including race and ethnicity demographics from U.S. companies that disclose this as part of their reporting requirements to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In terms of disclosure, the ability to measure, analyze, and track data over time is essential for companies as they develop and implement approaches towards diversity and inclusion. The 2022 GEI Insights Report published today, outlines the breadth and depth of data incorporated in calculating the GEI and illustrates the impact that concerted gender-equality efforts can have in the workplace. Examples include work on corporate governance and culture, as noted in the GEI this year.
Closing the Gap
One area of vibrant activity entails work on diversity in the boardroom and across all levels of the corporation. On average, GEI members’ boards are comprised of 31% women, and 72% of the member companies have a Chief Diversity Officer or an executive with the primary responsibility of diversity & inclusion. These companies have an average of 39% of women in revenue-producing roles and more than half (61%) require a gender-diverse slate of candidates for management positions.
“Today’s business leaders have the opportunity to drive progress on gender equality for years to come,” said Patricia Torres, Global Head of Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Solutions at Bloomberg. “The GEI framework helps companies assess their progress relative to their peers, and in relation to their own goals. In turn, the GEI data gives investors a comprehensive dataset to help evaluate how best practices in gender equity are contributing to company performance across a variety of factors.”
Culture of Inclusion
Another key area involves the recruiting, hiring, and retention processes at member firms. On average, GEI members hire more women: 83% of these firms have a direct strategy for recruiting women, and 66% of them conduct global gender-based compensation reviews. These companies are also more likely to adopt family-friendly policies: for example, 75% of member companies offer on-site lactation rooms for new mothers and 59% of them provide childcare subsidies or other financial support.
“Programs, policies and practices are now table stakes, but lasting change comes from creating a culture of equality where everyone feels they belong – the accelerator of creating 360˚ Value for all stakeholders,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture Chair and CEO. “The GEI is a valuable tool that puts a spotlight on progress and opportunities to improve.”
This year’s GEI data shows that communities are also benefiting from inclusive corporate policies: more than half (63%) of member companies sponsor financial education programs for women, and 65% sponsor programs dedicated to educating women in STEM.
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