CEOs Say Investors Are Demanding More Diversity, Social Impact

(Bloomberg) -- Shareholders want more from their companies than earnings growth.

“Investors are now paying much more attention to a company’s culture and what we’re doing from a social standpoint,” Susan Salka, chief executive officer of AMN Healthcare Services Inc., said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Business of Equality summit in New York. “We’re having those conversations much more frequently than when we went public in 2001.”

Salka, joined by executives from Accenture Plc and Voya Financial Inc., urged firms to hire more women to advance diversity in the workplace.

All three companies are members of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, which measures the share performance of companies that support disclosures and policies promoting gender diversity. Women in member firms hold 26 percent of senior leadership positions and 19 percent of executive officer roles.

Read more about the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

Pressure from investors to increase diversity will only get more intense in coming years, forcing companies to respond, the CEOs said.

“Among all the other very good reasons to be on the leading edge of this, that’s a very good practical business reason to be there,” said Voya CEO Rodney Martin. “The momentum of this is going to dramatically accelerate.”

Follow the Business of Equality summit here.

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