The Calvert Diversity Report: Examining the Cracks in the Ceiling

May 19, 2017

In this fourth edition of The Calvert Diversity Report: Examining the Cracks in the Ceiling, Calvert continues to assess and rate the diversity practices of the largest multinational companies that make up the Standard & Poor's 100 Index (S&P 100).

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At Calvert, we believe a company’s diversity practices represent material information that investors can and should consider when conducting investment research and making portfolio decisions. Empirical research has shown that an inclusive and diverse workforce is linked to improved financial performance, and we all understand the benefits of a diverse and inclusive society to the quality of any community.

Expanded for 2017

We have observed that most S&P 100 companies have realized the value of corporate diversity policies and programs, as indicated by improved scores across the S&P 100 peer group over time. With this in mind, in this edition we sought to expand the understanding of corporate diversity practices by adding a more detailed analysis of a broader range of companies as a complement to our traditional approach. In addition, this year we asked the S&P 250 companies to respond to a 75-question online survey in order to better understand program implementation and diversity outcomes.

The need for this expanded report is a reflection of where the field is heading more broadly. Corporations are moving beyond the “why” and are now trying to identify “how” they can effectively foster diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. At the same time, investors are increasingly integrating diversity measures into their investment decision-making process.

The objective of this report is to provide companies and investors with tools to evaluate corporate diversity practices in order to improve diversity outcomes. In addition, empirical research has shown that an inclusive and diverse workforce is linked to improved financial performance.

Toward Diversity 2.0

By now, most large publicly listed companies have developed processes and policies to ensure hiring of a diverse set of employees. We call these practices Diversity 1.0 since they allow entry to the workforce.

However, these policies do not guarantee that all employees all are empowered and provided with an enabling environment for success. We call this Diversity 2.0.

Evidence suggests that the status quo for Diversity 2.0 is much less developed compared to Diversity 1.0. The 42 large U.S. companies with fairly complete Diversity 1.0 practices that provided us with detailed data on their Diversity 2.0 practices exhibited significant differences in policies and practices across firms on: methods for diversity training programs, oversight of diversity efforts, incentives for diversity goals, assessment of career development barriers for traditionally underrepresented groups and consideration of customer diversity profile in marketing efforts.

Perhaps more importantly, while all companies have Diversity 1.0 practices, there are dramatic differences across firms in the percentage of management that comprise women and ethnic minorities or in the presence of those groups in leadership development programs.

In our preliminary analysis, companies with the following attributes exhibit greater diversity in leadership and leadership development.

  • Mechanisms to assess career development barriers
  • More than one approach to diversity training
  • Diversity goals tied to compensation
  • Track the involvement of a broad set of underrepresented groups in leadership development initiatives
  • A more diverse consumer base

Recommendations

Our study found that 41 S&P 100 companies lack women and minorities among their highest-paid executives; 53 S&P 100 boards have less than 25 percent female representation; and 75 S&P 100 boards have less than25 percent minority members. From an investor perspective, this represents potential value that remains untapped. Ways that companies can address this to bolster their effort and unlock value include:

  • Conduct a Self-Assessment
  • Cultivate a Diverse Leadership Pipeline
  • Track Diversity Outcomes
  • Demonstrate Transparency and Accountability Through Disclosure
  • Develop an Inclusive Culture

For more details, download the full report

 

The turnover rate for the S&P 100 for this year's report is 21 companies. While we examine and rate the performance of S&P 100 constituents each year, broad results should be understood in the context of the S&P 100 as a rolling peer group of the 100 largest U.S. companies rather than a fixed roster of companies.