- Thirty-nine percent of firms in Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index have public targets to increase female leadership, and 16% have shared plans to close a pay gap, the company said in a Jan. 21 announcement. Employers, including PayPal, Gap, Chipotle and more, in various industries appeared on the broader list.
- 2020 marked the first time Bloomberg tracked which employers went public with their plans, but the number of companies on the list — which takes into account female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, sexual harassment policies and pro-women brand — increased from 230 last year to 325.
- The index also for the first time tracked the likelihood a woman will remain employed at a firm following parental leave, the availability of on-site lactation rooms, and sponsorship of STEM education programs for women.
Some studies indicate that movement on pay gaps and other disparities won't occur for decades without deliberate employer action. An IBM Institute for Business Value study, for example, said that women may not gain parity with their male counterparts until 2073.
As Bloomberg noted, benefits like paid parental leave can reduce turnover rates. Ernst & Young (EY) is one example of a company that has banked on such efforts; after rolling out expanded leave, it told HR Dive that the number of fathers who took advantage of the full benefit doubled in two years. EY also noted a decline in the turnover rate for women during the past 15 years, which dropped from 15% more than men's to a difference of between 0% to 2%.
HR leaders can lead efforts to achieve parity, but they'll need buy-in from leadership, as Bloomberg also noted. Research by the Women Tech Council found that active support from company heads, executives and others in leadership roles, along with more female team leaders, community involvement in diversity initiatives and formal D&I groups, is key to achieving parity in the workplace.