Genting joins five Singapore firms on gender equality index

Six Singapore-headquartered companies have made it to an index that recognises commitment to furthering gender equality and data transparency.

Genting Singapore is the latest addition to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which is in its fourth year.

The Singapore Exchange has been on the list for two years, while telco Singtel and bank UOB Group have been on it for three consecutive years. Bank DBS Group Holdings and real estate developer City Developments have made the list for four consecutive years.

The index of 380 firms from 11 sectors headquartered in 44 countries was announced yesterday.

It tracks the performance of public companies committed to transparency in gender-data reporting and aims to help investors evaluate how firms are tackling gender equality in the workplace and in their local communities, Bloomberg chairman Peter Grauer said.

“The companies included in this year’s 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,” he said.

Last year’s index had 325 firms.

Companies which want to be included in the index use Bloomberg’s framework to report data for 59 metrics across five areas: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies and a pro-women brand.

They are given a score based on their responses, and are included in the index if their score exceeds a global threshold.

The score takes into account the level of disclosure of gender-related data, and how well the company performs in the five areas.

Data used for this year’s index was based on fiscal year 2019.

Bloomberg also noted that 52 per cent of the GEI companies have policies in place to ensure that a diverse slate of candidates are considered for management positions.

It also found that 85 per cent of companies reported offering flexible working locations and 65 per cent having on-site lactation rooms. Another 46 per cent of companies provide childcare subsidies or other financial support.

MP Poh Li San (Sembawang GRC), who is vice-president at Changi Airport Group, said: “The indexes seem to reflect most of these companies recognise the needs of women staff members and are willing to provide amenities and even family-friendly HR policies.”

While women are still “obviously severely outnumbered” at the executive level, Ms Poh noted that it also depends on the ratio of women in these organisations.

“I think what’s important is also how have these companies fared over the past few years,” she added.

Ms Shailey Hingorani, head of research and advocacy at gender equality advocacy group Aware, said the index is a reminder of the overwhelming evidence that diversity enhances businesses’ bottom lines.

She added that Singapore still has some way to go in terms of gender equality in the workplace.

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