IWD 365: Talking About Gender Equality for One Day a Year Is Not Enough

This article was written by Sabina Mehmood, Product Manager, Gender-Equality Index at Bloomberg.
Mar 9, 2021 8:40 AM ET
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2020 was a landmark year for the “S’ in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance factors), and this International Women’s Day (IWD) comes at a pivotal time for parity and equality. The disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 working environment on women and people of color and the on-going call to action of the #blacklivesmatter movement are just two examples of many social challenges the world faces in the years ahead.

According to McKinsey, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the impact of Covid-19 than men’s jobs. Women make up 39% of the global employment workforce, but account for 54% of overall job losses. Even before the pandemic struck, there was a growing need for investments in upskilling and training for more technical roles across organizations to account for the future of work. Where corporations were already missing the mark, Covid-19 has only exacerbated the need for more inclusive workplaces.

Disclosure is the first step, but the data speaks volumes

Through the lens of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) Reporting Framework, which aims to provide companies with a blueprint for understanding what they can be measuring in order to drive progress on gender equality in their workplace, disclosure of participating companies is at an all-time high. Over 460 companies across 45 countries have reported their FY19 gender data through the framework. These firms are driving accountability through data transparency.

Through comprehensive scoring of both disclosure and data excellence performance across five key pillars, corporates are able to understand their areas for improvement and benchmark against peers. The 380 index members scoring high enough to be included in Bloomberg’s GEI for the 2021 reporting cycle (FY19) represent 11 sectors and 50 industries across 44 countries and regions.

While the average disclosure score of index members is 94%, the average data excellence performance score of members is sitting at 55%.

The data speaks for itself. There is still work to be done.

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Learn more about the GEI and how your company can participate.