Downtown office buildings Toronto

Canada’s Big Five banks — Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank (all based in Toronto) — were among 104 companies headquartered in 24 countries and regions recognized as part of New York-based Bloomberg LP’s inaugural Bloomberg gender-equality index (BGEI).

The 2018 sector-neutral BGEI replaces the Bloomberg financial services gender-equality index (BFGEI), which was launched in 2016. The 2017 edition of the BFGEI included 52 financial services firms, headquartered in 18 countries and regions. The Big Five banks, excluding Scotiabank, made it onto last year’s BFGEI.

“We recommend the 104 companies included in the 2018 BGEI for their efforts to create work environments that support gender equality across a diverse range of industries,” says Peter Grauer, Bloomberg’s chairman, in a statement. “Their leadership sets an important example that will help all organizations innovate and navigate the growing demand for diverse and inclusive workplaces.”

Highlight’s from the index include:

> Women in BGEI member firms hold 26% of senior leadership positions, 19% of executive officer roles and earned 46% of promotions in 2016.

> The percentage of executive level positions held by women in BGEI member firms rose by 33.5% from fiscal year 2014 to 2016.

> 67% of members evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.

“An inclusive culture is a top priority at BMO,” says Simon Fish, general counsel for BMO and the bank’s executive diversity champion, in a statement. “We have achieved our goal of 40% women in senior leadership roles; 42% of our independent board members are women; and we have achieved industry-leading inclusivity scores.”

Firms that participated in this initiative submitted a social survey that Bloomberg created in partnership with third-party experts, including Catalyst, Women’s World Banking and National Partnership for Women and Families.

“The [BGEI] measures gender equality across internal company statistics, employee policies, external community support and engagement, and gender-conscious product offerings,” says Bloomberg in a news release.