Calls for more diverse workplaces

30 July 2019

Calvert Research and Management is urging businesses to build a more diverse workplace after it was shown it boosted the financial performance of the firm over time.

The firm, an affiliate of Eaton Vance, said companies that prioritised diverse workplaces had stronger financial performance, that female labour participation improved when family-friendly policies were in place and companies needed policies to promote gender equity.

Its report ‘Evaluating the Glass Ceiling: Understanding and unlocking the value in gender equity’ found Iceland, Norway and France had the highest levels of female board participation and many countries had a mandatory 40 per cent target.

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In Australia, women make up 29.7 per cent of all ASX 200 board positions, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

A study by MSCI found companies with three or more women on their board had median increases of 10 per cent in return on equity and 37 per cent on earnings-per-share from 2011-16. Those without any women had median decreases of one per cent and eight per cent respectively over the same period.

This was echoed by McKinsey in 2018 which found companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 per cent more likely to outperform on profitability.

In response to the findings, Calvert said firms should be supporting policies that promote gender diversity, understanding future trends and thinking about how they can determine their competitive future.

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