Pandemic Renews Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – As the global financial system continues to learn to live with COVID-19, evidence is starting to accumulate, suggesting the pandemic has created an increased awareness of the benefits of sustainability factors. The most recent such instance was provided by Refinitiv, which on September 16th, announced the Top 100 most diverse and inclusive global organisations for 2020 according to its Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. Discussing the progress made by companies, Debra Walton, chief revenue officer at Refinitiv, noted that “the global pandemic has certainly brought to light a renewed focus on diversity and inclusion, reinforcing the reality that we are all in this together.”

    Refinitiv is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure, serving over 40,000 institutions in approximately 190 countries. The company provides data and research, trading platforms, and open data and technology platforms. Blackstone Group LP and Thomson Reuters jointly own Refinitiv.


    The index ratings are based on Refinitiv’s ESG data, which is designed to measure the relative performance of close to 10,000 companies representing over 80% of global market capitalisation across more that 450 ESG data points and provide clients with critical and differentiated insight.

    The D&I Index rates and scores companies across the four main pillars Diversity, Inclusion, People Development and Controversies. Only companies with scores across all four pillars are assigned an overall score (the average of the pillar scores). The top 100 ranked companies with the best overall D&I scores are selected for the Index.

    Leading Companies and Sectors

    Sectorally, Refinitiv highlighted eighteen banking, investment services & insurance companies, nine pharmaceuticals companies and seven telecommunications firms, speciality retailers and personal & household products & services. Geographically, the USA leads the Top 100 list with 20 firms on the list, followed by 13 companies from the UK, nine from Australia, followed by seven from Canada and France. The top 10 companies ranked by Refinitv were BlackRock, Natura&Co Holding, Accenture, Royal Bank of Canada, Industria de Diseno Textil, L’Oreal, Allianz, Telecom Italia, Novartis and Bank of Nova Scotia.

    “Congratulations to the 2020 D&I Index Top 100 most diverse & inclusive organisations globally. We are delighted that our D&I Index continues to be used as a guide to help firms across the globe create a more effective workforce through diverse teams,” said Walton. “Data-based insights and transparency are a fundamental element of a successful movement to achieve more diverse and inclusive workplaces.  At Refinitiv, we are committed to using our data to further our own goals and to provide those insights to the broader market.”

    Leading Trends

    Globally the cultural diversity of board members has increased from five years ago but has stalled at around 30%, according to Refinitiv’s analysis. At country level, Germany is the only country that has maintained a positive increase in the percentage of culturally diverse board members. However, other measures show more convincing progress. The number of companies with an official flexible working policy has increased by 54% over the last five years. A total of 25% more companies have a career development policy in place than five years ago. Regionally the most significant increases have been seen in Oceania with a 40% increase. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) lead the way with the most culturally and gender diverse boards.  Africa is leading the way with 34% of female managers, on average.

    “The global pandemic and social unrest this year has reinforced the focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace coming from different business stakeholder groups,” said Elena Philipova, global head of ESG at Refinitiv. “Our Diversity and Inclusion Index, now in its fifth year, emphasises the critical importance for companies to commit to, measure and report on their diversity journey beyond gender. Sustainable and resilient workforce is the fuel for businesses especially during volatile times. Refinitiv remains fully committed to using our data assets, expertise and influence to champion the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace – including our own.”

    Image © Shutterstock

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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