Bloomberg launches financial services gender equality index

May 23rd, 2016 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

Leading financial data provider Bloomberg has launched the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index, providing investors and organizations with standardized aggregate data across company gender statistics; employee policies; gender-conscious product offerings; and external community support and engagement.

Bloomberg launches financial services gender equality index

Angela Sun, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Bloomberg.

The launch is the latest addition to a string of index and investment product launches including exchange-traded funds that promote social equality. As recent as March of this year, State Street Global Advisors launched the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (NYSE Arca: SHE) which screens US large cap firms according to the proportion of women holding positions in board and senior executive roles.

The inaugural 2016 index recognizes 26 financial services firms committed to gender equality, including dedicated social disclosure policies and practices. Those included on this year’s index represent companies with best-in-class statistics and policies according to a voluntary social survey created by Bloomberg in partnership with third-party experts, including Women’s World Banking, Catalyst and Working Mother Media.

An increasing body of research points to the conclusion that gender diversity has a positive impact on a firm’s bottom line. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, which evaluated the performance of 366 companies across Canada, Latin America, the UK and the US, a lack of gender diversity was strongly correlated with below par earnings performance.

While the factors affecting such results are still in dispute, it has been proposed that a diverse leadership structure promotes positive corporate qualities such as values-driven goals, accountability and motivation. Other theories suggest that firms reduce their reputational risk by promoting gender equality, while still other theories suggest women influence a greater proportion of consumer purchase decisions, thereby providing gender diverse companies with an inherent advantage.

Angela Sun, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Bloomberg, commented: “Evidence demonstrates that gender-equality policies and practices can affect a company’s financial performance, productivity and ability to retain top talent. While more and more firms are focused on addressing gender equality in the workplace, we’ve lacked a holistic set of data to better understand the issues facing companies, employees and clients. The (index) gives investors an important new decision-making tool by providing objective, concrete data around difficult-to-measure areas like policies and products.”

“We hope the (index) encourages more firms to disclose and discuss gender equality in the workplace,” added Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. “Better support for female employees is crucial to building and developing a diverse workforce – and it’s key to remaining competitive in today’s global business environment.”

The 26 financial services firms included in the 2016 Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index are:

American Express
Banco Santander
Bank of America
Bank of Montreal
BNP Paribas
BNY Mellon
Credit Suisse
Deutsche Bank
Franklin Templeton
JPMorgan Chase
Old Mutual
Prudential Financial
Prudential PLC
Standard Chartered
State Street
The Hartford

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