S&P Global CEO Doug Peterson is on a campaign to hire and promote women more in the workforce. He calls it “Change Pays.” He says it makes economic sense and he has the numbers to prove it.
“If the U.S. had promoted women at the same rate as countries like Norway,” he says, “the economy could grow by 8 percent or $1.6 trillion dollars.”
Peterson is calling on business leaders to create benchmarks to reach gender parity. That includes his own company, S&P Global, the giant data and financial firm that is ranked on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in America. He says there are four women on the company’s board of directors and women account for 30 percent of the executive ranks at S&P. But he confesses, “We need to do a lot more. We have to hold ourselves accountable.”
The S&P “Change Pays” initiative comes as a California law now requires that all public companies based in the Golden State have at least one woman on their boards. By the end of 2021, most will need three, a change that could cause a significant shift in gender equality at American companies.
When Peterson talks with CEOs, he has a simple message that he hopes will bring about change.
“What I say to business leaders is, ‘What do you want for your daughter? What do you want for your cousin? What do you want for your sister? And what kind of opportunities do you want for women in the world?’” he says. “And this is the way you have to think about it.”
Watch the video above for more from my interview with Peterson.