Forest City Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA) recently earned international recognition for its inclusive programs, policies and practices, receiving a spot on Equileap's 2017 Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking.OK, compared to peers, pretty good. Bruce Ratner and successor MaryAnne Gilmartin have made FCR a notably hospitable place for women to work in the male-dominated world of real estate, Capital New York, in The women of Forest City, reported in March 2015.
Equileap, an organization aimed at accelerating gender equality in the workplace, created the survey and ranking to help investors and others identify companies that are leaders in gender balance and opportunity... The survey evaluated more than 3,000 global public companies and ranked the top 200 worldwide. Forest City ranked 174th and is the sole U.S. REIT to make the rankings.
...The report and ranking, which will be updated annually, was sourced exclusively through publicly accessible data from external reporting by the companies surveyed. Equileap assessed each company on 19 specific data points within four broad categories: gender balance in leadership and workforce; equal compensation and work/life balance; policies promoting gender equality; and commitment to women's empowerment.
Then again, as I pointed out, the company's record employing women, however unusual/admirable in the real estate industry, is not without significant blemish. That includes sexual harassment complaints that were allow to linger, if not to rise to an actual lawsuit.
The ranking process
Equileap explains that the Equileap Gender Equality Ranking was developed using a stepped process. In the first step, in which a company could get a maximum of 22 points, the firm measured issues like gender balance, promotion and career development opportunities, and workplace policies promoting equal treatment and opportunities.
In the second stage, Equileap worked with researchers at the School of Business and Economics at University of Maastricht to collect additional information regarding seven additional criteria, including primary and secondary care-giver leave policies, flexible work schedules, and equal pay, and endorsement of the Women’s Empowerment Principles and independent gender audits.
Looking more closely
Those first two steps produced a series of groups within which companies had the same overall score. The final ranking was based on which companies in each group perform best on the criterion of gender balance in the workforce.
Companies 89 through 145 were ranked C, with 17 points, while companies 146 through 200 were ranked C, with 16 points; Forest City, at 174, was just about in the middle of the latter pack.
As shown on the right, a ranking of C is relatively low, but... only six companies worldwide even got a B grade. Another 22 companies got a B-. Another 60 got a C+. The rest got C.
Note that companies involved in industries like weapons, gambling, and tobacco were excluded, as were companies that in the past two years faced official rulings regarding discrimination or gender harassment against any employees, or two or more legal cases brought against them regarding such issues.