Four South African companies, Woolworths, Vodacom, Clicks and Nedbank feature in the top 100 of the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. This can be taken to reflect usefulness of South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) regulation and corporate governance codes. The top 100 list is led by Accenture.
All four South African companies, Woolworths ranked 24th, Vodacom 42nd, Clicks 58th, and Nedbank 95th, also do well in B-BBEE ratings including in records kept under Ujuh B-BBEE Data. For example Woolworths outperforms, by far, its local peers in the South African retail sector. JSE listed companies like Pick n’ Pay and Shoprite which have shown no interests in B-BBEE don’t feature in the D&I Index.
And Nedbank is also a top B-BBEE performer amongst its peers in the banking sector. Vodacom is also not a bad B-BBEE performer having just announced the rewinding of its highly successful B-BBEE deal titled Yebo Yethu.
Thomson Reuters announced the 2018 top 100 most diverse and inclusive organizations, the D&I Index. The top 10 list of the index is as follows: Accenture, Novartis, Medtronic, Diageo, Gap, Telecom Italia, Kering, Natura Cosmeticos and Oreal, Acciona.
The index ratings are informed by Thomson Reuters environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of more than 7,000 companies.
The D&I Index can be used to help financial professionals screen companies for long-term opportunities and risks in their investments, as well as empower gender lens investing strategies. Each company is assigned a score across Diversity, Inclusion, People Development and News Controversy pillars.
Elena Philipova, global head of ESG at Thomson Reuters, Financial & Risk said “Our Diversity and Inclusion index, highlights the companies who are leading the way in imbedding Diversity & Inclusion into their company strategy.
“The (investment) industry is beginning to recognize the societal and business benefits of investing in diverse and inclusive companies and we are working closely with various investment firms who are looking to develop investable products based on our D&I index. We remain committed to providing industry-leading ESG data to help investors make smarter investment decisions.”
The D&I index continues to receive recognition from industry analysts across the globe. Virginie O’Shea, research director at Aite Group, said “The topic of diversity has continued to dominate industry mindshare in 2018. Not only have firms been increasing their corporate disclosure with the intent of improving corporate governance and transparency, regulators have also been compelling change and 2019 will see the introduction of the second Shareholder Rights Directive in Europe to this end. Investors are keen to see much more data related to topics such as diversity to factor these into their ESG strategies, which have been gathering pace over the last 12 months.”
Will Jan, Vice President & Lead Analyst at Outsell, said “Recent studies have revealed that diversity & inclusion is correlated to value-creation & profitability. As such, financial services have an obligation to inform investors of these opportunities.”
Here follow the Top 25 Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index ranking and attendant score:
|6||Telecom Italia SpA||77.75|
|8||Natura Cosmeticos SA||77.25|
|10||Bristol-Myers Squibb Co||77.00|
|12||Roche Holding AG||75.00|
|14||Woolworths Group Ltd||74.75|
|17||Procter & Gamble Co||74.00|
|17||Eli Lilly and Co||74.00|
|20||Merck & Co Inc||73.75|
|23||Bank of Montreal||73.25|
|24||Woolworths Holdings Ltd||73.00|