We’re barely halfway through January and already I’ve interviewed three new CEOs of senior living operators — Kimberly Lody of Capital Senior Living, Shelley Kendrick of Ecumen and Judy Budi of Graceworks Lutheran Services.

It’s quite the time to be a woman in senior living.

I was reminded of further news on this front last week when Bloomberg announced the 230 companies from around the world named to its 2019 Gender Equality Index. The voluntary program highlights firms that have expressed a commitment to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace. Senior living operators will recognize real estate investment trust Welltower and life services company Sodexeo on the list, among other companies.

“Greater transparency around workplace inclusion helps firms demonstrate accountability to their employees, investors and communities,” Bloomberg Chairman Peter T. Grauer said in a statement. “Bloomberg’s standardized gender reporting framework serves as an underlying tool to guide disclosure, allowing companies to measure and manage gender equality across all their operations and businesses. It also provides these leading organizations an opportunity to inspire each other and develop best practices.”

Nominate a leader or rising star for a McKnights Women of Distinction award. Deadline Jan. 31. See www.mcknights.com/womenofdistinction.

Even companies not on the 2019 list can be inspired by what disclosures from the GEI companies reveal:

  • Women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between fiscal years 2014 and 2017.
  • 60% of the firms conduct compensation reviews to identify gender-based variations in pay to close their average 20% pay gap (the gap is 18% on average in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions and 26% in the Asia-Pacific region).
  • 34% of the companies have programs in place to recruit women looking to return to work after a career break.
  • For U.S. employees, the average number of weeks of fully paid primary leave offered is 13, and the average number of weeks of fully paid secondary leave offered is five.
  • 43% of companies cover gender reassignment services in health insurance plans.
  • 68% of companies evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.

Toledo, OH-based Welltower said that in the past year, it became the first North American REIT to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, joining companies such as Merck, Microsoft, PepsiCo and the World Bank Group. Also, the REIT said it hired women to 45% of revenue-generating positions filled in 2018, which include Welltower’s business development, investments, strategy and capital markets teams. Additionally, Welltower appointed two national healthcare executives to its board, increasing female independent director leadership to 36%.

“Our inclusion in the index this year recognizes the progress we have made and reflects an ongoing commitment to our employees,” Welltower Senior Vice President of Human Capital Christy Stone said in a statement.

Paris-based Sodexo said that women make up 37% of its executive committee and 54% of its board. The company has an advisory board to promote women’s advancement, with 28 women and seven men. Objectives include attaining the 40% mark for women among senior leaders by 2025, increasing the number of women in talent pipeline, boosting the gender balance in management teams, upping the number of women in operations and creating a culture of inclusion.

“Our global gender balance strategy is a key driver in ensuring that both women and men have equal access to growth and opportunities in our workplace,” Sodexo Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer Rohini Anand said in a statement.

I’m pulling for a day when instruments such as the Gender Equality Index won’t be needed, because equality will be something that serves as an assumed basis from which other actions stem. Until that time, lists such as this one provide an opportunity for reflection and comparison.

So how do things look at your organization?