The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of managing the S – or social side – of environmental, social and governance aspects, and in particular, how human capital is managed. Companies need to ensure cultural gender biases do not exist and that they promote equal opportunity employment policies and practices moving forward.
Industry-specific action plans are required to understand and address the causes and solutions that can tackle gender inequality. There will be and should be shared learnings that cut across industries so a degree of coordination is also required.
Companies both new and old need to be acutely aware of the viability of their business approach and ask themselves, truthfully, whether their strategy and business model are relevant and resilient. The value of good governance, including gender diversity, is even more apparent in those companies that have managed their risks well and identified opportunities in this changing environment.
Ian Burger, head of responsible investment, Newton Investment Management.