The only Puget Sound area company on the list of 200 top companies compiled by Equileap was Microsoft, which came in at No. 78.
DETROIT — General Motors is ranked No. 1 in the world for gender equality in the workplace.
That’s according to the Global Report on Gender Equality released Thursday by Equileap, an organization compiling data on gender equality in corporations.
In the report, GM bumped cosmetic company L’Oreal France from the top spot last year to second place.
The only Puget Sound area company on the list of 200 top companies was Microsoft, which came in at No. 78.
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“We have seen organizations making great strides toward improved gender equality in the past 12 months,” said Equileap CEO Diana van Maasdijk. But, she said, those in the study are still the exception.
“There is a long way to go until we reach the goal of true global equality in the workplace for everyone,” van Maasdijk said.
Formed in 2016, Equileap is based in Amsterdam and London. Its second Global Report on Gender Equality looked at more than 3,000 public companies, with a market value of at least $2 billion, in 23 countries and assessed them based on 19 criteria that included equal pay, work flexibility, gender equality in leadership, policies promoting gender equality and commitment, transparency and accountability, to list a few.
GM dominated the rankings because it’s currently the only company in the largest 20 in the United States that has both a female CEO, Mary Barra, and an equal number of women and men on its board of directors, the study said.
At the time of the study GM’s board was evenly split between men and women. But in June, GM added Devin Wenig, president and CEO of eBay, to the board, making the split six men and five women.
But the study also mentioned that GM’s move to name Dhivya Suryadevara as its first female CFO as of Sept. 1 was a positive for gender diversity in leadership.
Also, GM is one of just two global businesses that have pay equality in top, middle and bottom “bands” as well as overall no gender pay gap across the company, the study said. It also said GM offers flexible hours and flexible work locations as well as having policies to combat sexual violence at work and measures to improve supplier diversity.
GM’s Chief Diversity Officer Ken Barrett said the carmaker is “honored” to be recognized, noting it focuses on building “a winning culture — one that provides opportunity and an environment that allows each employee to reach his/her highest potential. We win together as one team.”
These 200 companies named in the study are setting a “blue print” for others to follow, Equileap’s van Maasdijk said. Providing equal opportunities yields a business advantage that can lead to higher financial returns and lower volatility, she said.
“True gender equality isn’t just about pay and the representation of women on boards, it’s a far more complex issue,” van Maasdijk said. “That is why our research looks at 19 different factors including benefits such as shared parental leave. We want to see a level playing field for every employee, not just women.”