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Companies Reinforce Commitment to Inclusive Workplaces, increased disclosure: Bloomberg-21 Gender-Equality Index

New York/Mumbai, January 28, 2021 – Today, Bloomberg announced that 380 companies headquartered across 44 countries and regions are included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). For the first time, firms domiciledin Indonesia and Bermuda are reporting gender-related data.The GEI brings transparency to gender-related practices and policies at publicly-listed companies, increasing the breadth of environmental, social, governance (ESG) data available to investors.At a time when it is critical for firms to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality, the companies included in this year’s index are setting an example for more transparent reporting and disclosure of social data.

“As we continue to grapple with the pandemic, we’ve seen companies put increased emphasis on the ‘S’ in ESG,” said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “The companies included in this year’s Gender-Equality Index are committed to providing an inclusive work environment, supporting work-life balance and flexible work arrangements to retain a talented workforce and create a competitive advantage in this changing business environment.” 

Despite raising the threshold for inclusion in the 2021 index, a record number of companies disclosed their data, and the quality of disclosure continues to improve. This year, GEI companies had a 94% disclosure score on average. While the average disclosure score was high, the average data excellence score was 55%, making it evident there is still work that needs to be done. The data excellence score is broken down into scores across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand.

“As businesses strive to maintain strong corporate cultures in today’s virtual world, 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. “This progress can begin with the GEI framework, which helps companies assess where they are on the path to gender parity relative to their peers, and hold themselves accountable to their goals. In turn, the GEI data gives investors a comprehensive view into how these practices are driving increased employee engagement and productivity, bringing higher market value to companies, and creating positive change in local communities.”

Flexible Work Environments

While the data provided for the 2021 index is from fiscal year 2019, it shows how companies were already considering more flexible working styles. For example, 87% of companies included in the GEI provide flexible working hours, and 85% offer flexible working locations, a benefit that has become more important amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Closing the Gap

On average, GEI members’ boards are comprised of 29% women, and 61% have a Chief Diversity Officer or an executive with the primary responsibility of diversity & inclusion.The companies have an average of 39% of women in revenue-producing roles and more than half (52%) require a gender diverse slate of candidates for management positions.

Culture of Inclusion

On average, index member companies are hiring more women than they are losing, 69% of which have a strategy for recruiting women, and 59% conduct a global gender-based compensation review. Additionally, on average, 85% of employees returning after parental leave remain with their company with 65% of companies offering on-site lactation rooms and 46% providing childcare subsidies or other financial support.

Inclusion Beyond the Workplace

This year’s data shows that communities are benefiting from inclusive corporate policies. More than half (60%) of index member companies sponsor financial education programs for women and 64% sponsor programs dedicated to educating women in STEM.

For Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO of CaixaBank,inclusion in this global benchmark index “represents the recognition of our commitment to equality and diversity, which are an essential part of CaixaBank’s culture. We will continue to remain committed to be a reference model in the sector, promoting inclusion and participation of equal measure and supporting projects that promote equality across all areas of society. This commitment is a challenge that we face with enthusiasm, determination and continuous learning.”

"In wake of the global pandemic, we can’t risk rolling back the important strides we’ve made to eliminate barriers and increase representation of women in leadership. We have a unique opportunity in front of us to reassess gender equality policies and practices, and rethink how we balance life and work in the future. So let’s continue to speak up for inclusion and work even harder to address inequalities that stand in the way of change for all those under-represented in our offices, boardrooms and video calls," said Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay.

To continue expanding the availability of ESG data, Bloomberg now provides EEO-1 data to clients via the Bloomberg Terminal. This dataset includes information on race and ethnicity demographics on the U.S. workforce for companies that volunteer to disclose this information publicly as part of their reporting requirements to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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. 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.To learn more please visit the GEI website.