05/06/2016 09:24 EDT | Updated 05/09/2016 09:59 EDT

Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index Singles Out 2 Canadian Banks

And two Canadian companies are doing very well.

What's the best way to advance gender equality in the workplace?

If you're Bloomberg, you measure it.

The financial news and services company has devised the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index.

It's a tool that evaluates companies for their efforts to promote gender-positive policies, products and other measures as part of their work to ensure workplace equality.

Stock photo of a woman working in an office. (Photo: John Lamb/Getty Images)

"While more and more firms are focused on addressing gender equality in the workplace, we've lacked a holistic set of data to better understand the issues facing companies, employees and clients," Bloomberg head of strategy and corporate development Angela Sun said in a statement.

"The BFGEI gives investors an important new decision-making tool by providing objective, concrete data around difficult-to-measure areas like policies and products."

The first BFGEI saw Bloomberg single out 26 companies that scored highly for "strong commitments to gender equality, including dedicated social disclosure policies and practices."

CIBC was one of two Canadian banks named in the index.

In a news release, the bank noted that its female executives were listed among Canada's most powerful women 14 times in the past 10 years.

CIBC also pointed out its support for Catalyst Canada, a non-profit that seeks to create more opportunities for women and business across the country.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) was also singled out.

In a separate news release, BMO highlighted actions such as its Women in Leadership Fund, which invests money in companies for whom women make up at least a quarter of board members.

BMO also noted that it had made $2 billion in credit available to female entrepreneurs back in 2014.

Women make up one-third of BMO's board of directors and they also represent 39.3 per cent of senior leadership roles there.

"We've lacked a holistic set of data to better understand the issues facing companies, employees and clients."

The index comes amid increasing awareness of gender issues such as the wage gap.

The Canadian Women's Foundation (CWF) says women earn 72 cents for every dollar that men draw in the Great White North.

So there's still work to do. But Canadian companies are certainly being recognized for the work they've done.

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