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Slowly but surely: gradual progress towards gender equality

Slowly but surely: gradual progress towards gender equality

18-04-2019 | Article

Gender diversity enhances corporate governance, talent attraction and human capital development—all important factors driving long-term competitiveness. Corporate policies promoting gender diversity are a reflection of a well-managed company that realizes diversity’s value in stimulating creativity, fostering innovation, minimizing risk, and increasing productivity in tandem with employee well-being. RobecoSAM’s Gender measurement framework supports this view and suggests that companies with a more diverse and equal workforce are indeed better positioned to outperform.

Speed Read

  • The proportion of women in the workforce globally has slipped, reversing an increasing trends from recent years
  • Female talent retention is still low with too few women in senior ranks compared to the overall workforce
  • At current rates, it would take 22 years to eliminate the gender pay gap between male and female non-managers. 
  • Support for child care and flexible working options, including paternity leave, are increasing worldwide.

Furthermore, by levelling the playing field in the workplace, firms can also help promote gender equality in wider society. Similarly, investors who take these factors into account can play a role in driving social change in addition to enhancing their returns.

Measuring gender equality criteria is a critical measure within the social dimension of the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) in order to assess a company’s overall sustainability performance. Findings from the most recent CSA shows that while awareness and action on gender parity issues has accelerated in the public sector, the speed of change hasn’t been matched in corporate settings. 

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