May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The United Nations established the day in 2011 to raise awareness about and respect for cultural diversity around the world. Why does it matter? It’s closely aligned with our values and mission.
CalPERS is about people: the members we serve, our employees, and the people around the world impacted by the policies of the companies in which we invest.
We operate in one of the most culturally diverse states in the nation. Therefore, diversity and inclusion are integral to the culture at CalPERS. So important, in fact, that we’ve taken time to craft official definitions. Diversity, at CalPERS, is defined as all the inherent and acquired qualities that make us unique as individuals. Inclusion is defined as a practice to maintain a positive environment where all individuals feel recognized and valued.
We believe the practice of inclusion strengthens the services we provide to our 1.9 million members, each of whom is unique. To serve them effectively, it’s important we understand their needs and serve them with the sensitivity they deserve. As for our employees, we have nearly 3,000 on staff. They represent cultures all around the world and collectively speak more than 30 languages. When we embrace their ideas with an open mind, then strong performance, creativity, and innovation flourish. That leads to business success.
There’s one more business area in which CalPERS recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion, and that’s in our investment strategies. CalPERS invests in more than 11,000 companies around the world. The better these companies perform, the more secure CalPERS benefits will be. For example, in an updated study by Credit Suisse of more than 3,000 companies in all industries around the world, companies with at least one woman on the board had excess returns of 3.5 percent per year.
We honor this occasion to pay tribute to the colorful, vibrant, and unique cultures around the world. And we invite you to learn more about how diversity and inclusion helps us meet our business objectives by reviewing our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Report.
To celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, you can learn about and appreciate another culture by:
- Visiting an art exhibit or museum that reflects diverse cultures
- Watching a movie or reading a book from a culture other than your own
- Exploring music of a different culture
Want to learn more about World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development? Visit the UNESCO website.