KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Digi.com Bhd have been included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). In a statement Tuesday, Bloomberg said this was the first time Digi had participated and made it to the list for reporting gender-related data. The GEI recognises publicly listed companies that brings transparency to gender-related practices and policies, increasing the breadth of environmental, social, governance (ESG) data available to investors. This year, the GEI comprised 380 companies across 44 countries and regions, and 11 sectors including automotive, banking, consumer services, engineering and construction, and retail, up from 325 companies in 2020. Firms on the 2021 index have a combined market capitalisation of US$14 trillion, up from US$ 12 trillion last year. “Malaysian companies outperformed the average disclosure score, with an average of 99.52%, well above the global average of 94.24%,” said Patricia Torres, Global Head of Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Solutions at Bloomberg. “Disclosure is an important component in the GEI as it is the first step towards accountability. The decisions companies make today can drive progress on equality for years to come. “We welcome more companies in this dynamic region to participate, as GEI data gives investors a comprehensive view of how practices that support gender equality can drive increased employee engagement and productivity. This in turn brings higher market value to companies and create positive change in local communities,” Patricia added. Bloomberg said 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. Bloomberg chairman Peter T. Grauer said: “As we continue to grapple with the pandemic, we’ve seen companies put increased emphasis on the ‘S’ in ESG. The companies included in this year’s GEI 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.” Here are some key findings from companies in the 2021 GEI: Flexible work environments: 87% 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 comprise 29% women and 61% have a Chief Diversity Officer or an executive with primary responsibility of diversity and 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: More than half (60%) sponsor financial education programs for women and 64% sponsor programs dedicated to educating women in STEM.
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