Aditi Mohapatra Addresses Senate Committee On Diversity and Women’s Empowerment
Calvert senior sustainability analyst Aditi Mohapatra appeared before a Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee on March 21, speaking to an audience of female executives and ten U.S. senators about the important role of gender equity in economic empowerment and job creation. Ms. Mohapatra made a "business case" for greater diversity, citing studies that show that including women in corporate management correlates to better share value and operating results.
During her comments, she noted that research from management consultant McKinsey & Co. found that companies with a higher share of women on executive committees had a 41% higher return on equity and a 56% increase in terms of operating results. She also cited Catalyst's research showing that Fortune 500 companies with 3 or more women on their boards consistently outperformed companies with fewer women on their boards in return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital.
"Despite these advantages, companies have been slow to add women to their boards and senior management teams. Women today are nearly 50% of the workforce, and yet hold only 18% of corporate director positions within S&P 100 companies. When we review the five highest paid positions within the same group of companies we found that women make up only 8% of those positions," Ms. Mohapatra said.
Aditi Mohapatra, left, at the Senate on March 21, 2012.
Ms. Mohapatra's invitation was part of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee's Forum on Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, held on March 21 at the Senate. Senator Mark Begich (AK), Senate Leader Harry Reid (NV), and Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), the meeting's co-chair, opened the proceedings. The forum was attended by a number of key lawmakers including Senators Daniel K. Akaka (HI, he is also vice-chairman of the committee), Claire McCaskill (MO), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Dick Durbin (IL), Richard Blumenthal (CT), James Sheehan (RI) and Mary Landrieu (LA).
The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee fosters an ongoing conversation between Senate Democrats and the American public. At the direction of the Chairman, the Committee seeks to inform, engage, and mobilize advocacy groups and constituencies to advance the policies and priorities of the Senate Democratic Caucus. The Committee is dedicated to ensuring that diverse communities have a voice within the Democratic Caucus on key issues facing our nation. The Committee is one of two Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate. Senator Mark Begich (AK) serves as Chairman, and Senator Daniel K. Akaka (HI) serves as Vice Chairman of the Committee.
Each year, the Steering and Outreach Committee hosts several meetings with advocates, policy experts, business leaders, elected officials, and community leaders to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Democratic agenda in the Senate. These meetings are open forums for discussion between members of communities around the country and members of the Democratic Caucus.
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