March 8, 2012

Calvert Analyst Brings Sustainability Principles to U.N. for International Women’s Day

‘Corporations are often more powerful than national governments in their ability to secure and protect women’s rights,’ says Aditi Mohapatra

Aditi Mohapatra, a senior sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments, spoke at the United Nations on Tuesday, two days ahead of International Women’s Day, to speak about diversity in business, especially at the executive level and in the boardroom.

Aditi Mohapatra, a senior sustainability analyst at Calvert InvestmentsMohapatra (left) discussed corporate transparency and disclosure at the U.N.’s Gender Equality for Sustainable Business panel, with the proceedings opened with a keynote address from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“At Calvert, we really believe that corporations are often more powerful than national governments in their ability to secure and protect women’s rights around the world and really unleash women’s economic capacity,” Mohapatra told AdvisorOne in an interview a day before her visit to the United Nations.

“While we’re longtime proponents of board and executive diversity, we believe you have to transform a company’s culture to address the issues that are at the heart of inequality.”

Under the guidance of Calvert Investments President, CEO and Chairman Barbara Krumsiek, in 2004 the firm launched a set of women’s principles that lay out a code of conduct for investors as well as companies to help advance women in the workplace.

In 2009, the U.N. adapted Calvert’s principles and published its own set of Women’s Empowerment Principles, which include establishing high-level corporate leadership for gender equality and promoting education and training for women.

“Having the U.N. using their platform and network to encourage the adoption of these principles is wonderful,” Mohapatra said. “While we’re longtime proponents of board and executive diversity, we believe you have to transform a company’s culture to address the issues that are at the heart of inequality.”

Based in Bethesda, Md., Calvert is a socially responsible mutual fund group with approximately $12 billion in assets under management and 42 portfolios.

Read The Gender Trap, published in Investment Advisor magazine in February, at AdvisorOne.com

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