Gender Fair rates companies on metrics derived from the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to ensure companies meet benchmark investments in gender equality—internally and in the communities they serve.
Launched in 2010 by UN Women & the United Nations Global Compact, the WEPs offer specific, measurable goals for gender equity.
Gender Fair rates companies on a 100-point index assessing five key areas:
Leadership & Opportunities
Advertising & Communication
We analyze a company’s commitment to advancing women in leadership throughout its organization. Questions include:
- Are there leadership programs for women?
- Does the percentage of women on the Board meet or exceed the current benchmark of 20% (average in Fortune 500)?
- Is the percentage of women of color on the board above the current benchmark of 5%?
- Does the percentage of women in management meet or exceed the current benchmark of 40% (average according to the US Government Accounting Agency)?
*Named Executive Officers: We use the number provided to the SEC of the highest paid executives. For non-US companies where that data is not available we count the executives with the word Chief in their titles, and if that is not applicable, we use the company’s listing of top executives.
**Privately held companies that do not use NEO titles are invited to use their top-five highest paid employees as a proxy for this metric.
***Women in Management: Management figures are self-reported, and definitions may vary. This data is also supplemented by Working Mother.
We analyze a company’s ability to provide a supportive working environment for employees. Questions include:
- Does the paid maternity leave meet or exceed the current benchmark?
- Does the paid paternity leave meet or exceed the current benchmark?
- Does the company have programs or policies such as flexible work arrangements, back-up child/elder care, returnships?
- Has the company published a gender pay gap study?
- Does the company have any of the following in regards to sexual harassment: a third party reporting hotline, ombuds, a non-forced arbitration policy?
**Non-forced arbitration policy data is supplemented by Force the Issue.
***Equal pay data is supplemented by Just Capital.
Departing from our previous in-house assessment, as of October 2020, Gender Fair awards Advertising & Communications points to companies that are members of either the Unstereotype Alliance or the SeeHer Movement.
#SeeHer: The mission of this movement, spearheaded by the Association of National Advertisers, is to accurately portray all women and girls in marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment, so they see themselves as they truly are and in all their potential.
#UnstereotypeAlliance: Convened by UN Women, the United Nations entity for Gender Equality, the Unstereotype Alliance contributes to empowering women in all their diversity (race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language, education, etc.) and addressing harmful masculinities to help create a gender equal world.
Other companies are not scored in this category. Their overall scores are reweighted accordingly.
We analyze a company’s commitment to intersectional gender equality. Questions include:
- Does the company report on the diversity of its employees?
- Does the company report diversity in its supply chain?
We analyze a company's engagement with promoting gender equality outside of the workplace. Questions include:
- Does the company have community-based programs that focus on women, girls, or gender equality specifically?
- Does the company publish the financial contributions to these programs?
- Are these programs nationally or internationally-focused?
The Data We Use
The current iteration of public data was collected between April 2020 and September 2020 from publicly available sources including annual reports, corporate social impact reports, sustainability reports, and company websites. Our ratings also incorporate credible, independent, third-party data from a number of sources, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Equileap. The data collection and evaluation timelines of these sources may differ from ours. Further details on third-party sources can be found by category, below.
Due to the rigour of the validation process, evaluations for public companies are conducted once per year, and ratings are valid for one year from the date of validation, regardless of changes within Gender Fair or the rated organization.
If a foreign company has a U.S. division with its own executive committee and board, we will use the data for the U.S. division in our ratings. When rating foreign companies, we include their programs and policies in the U.S., and not in other markets.
We take every effort to ensure the accuracy of the data, and contact each company to give them the opportunity to confirm. Individuals and companies are invited to submit a request for correction for any information they believe is incorrect.
Although we work closely with companies to verify their data and improve their metrics, we are never pay-to-play and reserve Gender Fair Rating and Certification for those companies that meet the standard. Rated and Certified companies are subject to annual reevaluation and those that do not continue to meet the standard will have their status revoked.
If you represent a publicly held company, and have questions about your company’s rating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Companies We Rate
Assisted by a machine-learning tool, Gender Fair collects data and applies a proprietary methodology to rate publicly traded companies. Our database contains information on more than 5,000 such companies.
As of summer 2019, we launched assessment of privately held organizations, including non-profits. As private companies are not bound by the same disclosure mandates as public companies, we rely on self-reported data to evaluate these organizations.
In both cases, data is individually validated by our research team prior to the release of a company’s rating.
Brand mapping to connect individual brands to their parent companies is provided by ecountabl.