Bloomberg announced the launch of its 2019 Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which this year selected 230 companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace. The index more than doubled in size from 2018 and includes firms from 10 sectors headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Collectively, these firms have a combined market capitalization of USD9 trillion and employ more than 15 million people — including 7 million women — around the world. Argentina, mainland China, Israel and South Africa are among the 13 markets represented for the first time this year.
“Greater transparency around workplace inclusion helps firms demonstrate accountability to their employees, investors and communities,” said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “Bloomberg’s standardized gender reporting framework serves as an underlying tool to guide disclosure, allowing companies to measure and manage gender equality across all their operations and businesses. It also provides these leading organizations an opportunity to inspire each other and develop best practices.”
Bloomberg’s reporting framework provides a comprehensive, standardized format for companies to voluntarily disclose information on how they promote gender equality across four distinct areas: company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services. Reporting companies that score above a globally-established threshold, based on the extent of their disclosures and the achievement of best-in-class statistics and policies, are included in the GEI.
“Our inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index reflects our commitment to gender parity at all levels of the company,” said Susan Story, CEO of American Water. “I find that it makes us stronger. If you do not reflect your communities and the customers you serve, you are not optimizing your business performance. It is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart business strategy.”
GEI companies are leaders among publicly-listed firms in their willingness to report and the success of their inclusion initiatives. Currently, only 10% of eligible companies are disclosing their workplace gender policies and practices.
“Today’s investors increasingly incorporate environmental, social and governance data into their decision-making,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America. “Our research analysts have shown that companies that focus on ESG tend to perform well over time.”
“As the investment community places greater value on gender equality, the Bloomberg GEI identifies the companies that excel at driving inclusion,” said Kiersten Barnet, Manager of the Bloomberg GEI. “We are encouraged by the growth of the index within the past year, which demonstrates that across the world, more organizations are prioritizing transparency and equality in the workplace.”
Disclosures from firms included in the 2019 GEI provide a wide-ranging and comprehensive look at how companies around the world are investing in their female colleagues. According to GEI data:
- Women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between fiscal years 2014-2017.
- 60% of firms conduct compensation reviews to identify gender-based variations in pay to close their average 20% pay gap (18% on average in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions and 26% in Asia-Pacific).
- 34% have programs in place to recruit women looking to return to work after a career break.
- For U.S. employees, the average number of weeks of fully paid primary leave offered is 13 weeks, and the average number of weeks of fully paid secondary leave offered is 5 weeks.
- 43% of firms cover gender reassignment services in health insurance plans.
- 68% of firms evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.
Dutch Companies included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index:
- RELX Group