Voices of RPIA - 2021


Voices of RPIA

In Our Work Finally, Equal pay – this pillar highlights the ever-present need to bridge the gender pay gap. Scoring a company here will show how significant the pay gap is between men and women in their workforce and whether they have committed to a plan of action to bridge this gap. The data shows that women are still over-represented in entry- level roles, and as we move up the corporate structure, the number of women holding positions of authority and influence dwindles. 4. Let’s talk about the pandemic – how did the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate the issues women face in the workplace? ON: As you can imagine, COVID-19 had a very notable impact on the representation of women in the workplace. This is because the crisis was twofold: a health crisis and an economic one. The pandemic caused a disproportionate increase in job vulnerability

5. How is RPIA looking to modify its internal practices to promote diversity & inclusion? ON: From an investment process perspective, we certainly hope to expand our social scoring system to further measures of marginalization. Not only are we looking to move beyond the binary view of gender that we are currently employing, but we also hope to develop similar scoring systems with the goal of promoting equity and inclusion along the lines of ethnicity and race as well as ability and accessibility. From the perspective of our firm’s culture, we remain committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. In our hiring, we strive for increasingly diverse candidate pools by encouraging new applicants from marginalized groups. In 2020, we were proud to launch our Allyship Committee, which has been instrumental in providing a safe place for our staff to have ongoing honest conversations and learn from one another about how best to be allies.

6. Why should investors care?

AY: ESG metrics cover a broad spectrum of company information often excluded or not explicitly recognized from “traditional” financial analysis. The research has found that companies that pay special attention to environmental, social, and governance concerns tend to exhibit better risk management and understanding of future headwinds facing their industry. By combining our ESG framework with in-depth credit analysis, we believe we can gain a better picture of a company’s risk- reward profile, which ultimately benefits investors seeking high-quality holdings in their investments. LR: Thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions! This has been a great learning opportunity for me and I hope it will be for others as well.

for women. There are two key things to consider in this context: 1) the closure of childcare centers and schools and 2) a declining need for low-skilled entry-level jobs in the corporate sector. The pandemic intensified gender diversity issues in the workplace by causing many women to assume childcare responsibility in their households, often leaving them with no choice but to leave their jobs, thus undoing some progress made in the area of increased labor force participation. Another point worth mentioning is that the pandemic put a severe strain on the healthcare sector, adding another layer of vulnerability to women in the workplace because women were also over-represented in front-line roles.

For more information on our approach to ESG, visit: www.rpia.ca/esg

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