People go out of their way to buy cruelty-free skin products, fair-trade coffee, and free-range chicken. It’s not such a leap to assume they’re also ready and willing to choose businesses based on how they support women. If only they knew which businesses those were. That’s the idea behind two projects getting off the ground soon: The LedBetter app and the Buy Up Index, both highlighted this week by ThinkProgress.org.
The Buy Up Index app, set to launch next month, grades consumer-focused, publicly traded companies based on gender diversity of their boards and senior executive staff, their philanthropic efforts and how they market to their products toward women. Users can search on a brand, or search by category of products to see the top-rated brands to make their purchasing decisions.
“I fully hope that transparency can change the ratio for American women in companies,” founder Amy-Willard Cross told Think Progress.
Iris Kuo and Camille Ricketts won a grant this year to create LedBetter, an app similar to Buy Up, but focused more on the representation of females on the boards and in the executive teams. Just knowing that, say, Chobani yogurt and Toms shoes have absolutely zero female executives might make you think twice about choosing their products — and we just hope the app is going to offer up some better options for our dairy snacks and loafers when it launches in 2016.
“We believe that people would change their behavior if they just had this data,” Kuo said. “We believe that the world would be better if data were more available.”
If voting with our wallets has made something like organic foods a huge part of the market, you’d think it could move corporations to get with the program on gender equality, too. Having the information to do so is the first big step.