Irish software consultancy Accenture has topped a list of the 100 most diverse and inclusive global companies to work for.
Refinitiv’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index rated Accenture as the winner, followed by UK beverage firm Diageo in second place, banking firm Royal Bank of Canada in third, and Brazilian beauty brand Natura Cosmeticos coming in fourth.
Other firms in the top 10 include US investment giant Blackrock (fifth place), Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis (seventh place), and France’s Kering (10th place).
Further down the table was French car maker Peugeot, which came 100th in the table, with US banking company Citigroup just above at number 99 in the index
The D&I Index, launched in 2016, measures the relative performance of more than 7,000 companies, representing 70% of global market cap, across over 400 ESG data points and four main pillars including diversity, inclusion, people development and controversies.
The index is then calculated by weighing each metric based on importance in the market and how each company compares with its peers.
Industries leading this year’s index are pharmaceutical firms with a total of 13 making the table, followed by banking, investment and insurance with 11, telecommunications services with nine, and personal and household products with seven.
United States leads the Top 100 list with 25 firms followed by the UK with 10, and Australia with nine.
“Our diversity and inclusion index recognises the companies who are leading the way in imbedding diversity and inclusion into their business strategy and practices,” Elena Philipova, global head of ESG at Refinitiv said.
“As ESG principles become commonplace around the world, many executives and investment professionals are looking at the implementation of ESG fundamentals, D&I being part of it – not as a ‘nice to have’, but as an essential lens for investment and strategy decision-making,” Philipova added.
Larry Tabb, founder and research chairman at financial consultancy firm TABB Group, said diversity is being increasingly used to manage investment selection.
“Those companies that have strong ESG aspects to their business tend to attract and retain employees and clients longer, which reduces turnover, costs and is very beneficial to the bottom line,” Tabb commented.
Will Jan, vice president and lead analyst at data provider Outsell, said all eyes are on ESG data as the financial community becomes more vested in a sustainable future.
“One critical responsibility among ESG platform providers is to help investors understand the impact of diversity and inclusion.
“While D&I is a long-term process, not a goal, the need for near-term returns on D&I investments remains very real. As such, metrics supporting various D&I benchmarking efforts have become more critical than ever in assessing the risk versus return in this market,” Jan stated.