Wealth giant Challenger has been named as a new addition to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality index, with the list looking to expanding on available ESG data and taking aim at investors.
Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality index (GEI) has tracked the financial performance of listed companies and their contribution to women’s equality through their policy, staffing, supply chain and the communities in which they operate.
The 2020 index has been expanded to include 325 companies across 42 countries, up from 230 companies across 36 counties in the 2019 list.
For the first time, the index tracked which companies were going public with their goals to close the gender gap – 39 per cent of the firms have public targets to increase female leadership while 16 per cent have released public plans on how they’re attacking the wage gap.
Bloomberg has also extended the types of metrics included in its framework, with companies reporting the likelihood a woman will remain employed at the firm following parental leave (82 per cent), the availability of on-site lactation rooms (69 per cent) and sponsoring of STEM education programs for women (64 per cent).
Firms included in the index have a combined market capitalisation of US$12 trillion, up from US$9 trillion last year.
Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg said the gender reporting framework has expanded ESG data available to investors by providing more in-depth metrics on companies across 50 industries.
“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,” Mr Grauer said.
The index tracked equality across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies and pro-women brand.
Bloomberg reported companies 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.
For the first time, firms headquartered in New Zealand, Czech Republic, the Philippines, Poland and Russia are reporting gender-related data.
Other Australian financial services providers on the index include CBA, NAB and Westpac.
Change at the top
According to findings from this year’s index, companies led by a female chief executive reported having more women in senior management positions than companies with a male CEO.
Female-led organisations also had more women in the top 10 per cent of compensation than male-led firms, and more women in revenue-producing roles.
More companies were reported to be evaluating their advertising and marketing materials for gender bias – with 78 per cent assessing their marketing for bias, up from 68 per cent the previous year.
Further, nearly half (46 per cent) of the firms measured retention of female customers and 57 per cent tracked customer satisfaction by gender where applicable.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].