Calvert, Pax World, Walden Asset Management and a global group of investors are calling on companies worldwide to boost the number of women on corporate boards and in senior management ranks, says Aditi Mohapatra, a sustainability analyst at Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.
Women “represent 18% of S&P 100 company directors, and 8% of the highest-paid positions in those companies,” Mohapatra told AdvisorOne.com on Oct. 14.
The investors released findings of a survey of 4,200 companies worldwide from Governance Metrics International, “Women on Boards: A Statistical Review by Country, Region, Sector and Market Index, March 2010,which indicated that just 9.4% of directors on corporate boards are women, according to an Oct. 13 announcement from the three companies.
Pax World, Calvert and Walden Asset Management were joined by The Co-operative Asset management, Batirente, Folksam, Vancity Investments, Boston Trust, Etica SGR and FIR Capital, the release stated. These companies also signed a UN-backed “Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI),” which the release says is a “framework to help investors achieve better long-term investment returns and sustainable markets through better analysis of environmental, social and governance issues in investment process and the exercise of responsible ownership practices.”
"We view gender equality and women's empowerment as strategic business and investment issues,” stated Pax World President and CEO Joe Keefe, in the news release. “When women are at the table, the discussion is richer, the decision-making process is better, management is more innovative and collaborative and the organization is stronger. Because companies that advance and empower women are, in our view, better long-term investments, we are encouraging companies in our portfolios to enhance their performance on gender issues."