Companies should be required to report on the diversity of their workforces, the Investment Company Institute said in a letter responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission's call for public comment on corporate climate-related disclosure.
"Mandating disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and workforce diversity will give fund managers the consistent, comparable, and reliable data they need to better assess current and future sustainability-related risks" ICI President and CEO Eric J. Pan said in a release announcing the letter Monday.
The regulatory framework for those disclosures should be flexible to allow for disclosure practices to evolve, he said.
ICI's call for mandated diversity disclosure along with climate "is a bellwether," said Robert Raben, founder of the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative, in an interview.
Having a major advocacy group like ICI recognize that "mandatory is better than voluntary" should help move toward better data on workforce diversity that can catalyze progress, he said. "I hope this is the end of the conversation for those centrists waiting to do something."
The public comment period on the SEC's disclosure question ends in June. In May, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said that the agency should "catch up" to investor demand for information from companies on how they are managing climate risk and human capital.
Disclosure rules on climate risk and human capital are a top priority, Mr. Gensler said, and will be the initial steps in a broader SEC effort to update its disclosure regime.