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Unum and First Horizon Corp., the parent company of First Tennessee Bank, are among 230 companies nationwide selected for the 2019 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, which distinguishes organizations committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women's equality.

The businesses scored high for gender equality among senior leadership, inclusion and diversity leadership and strategy, and flexible work, family-friendly and health care policies.

"Gender equality is a critical part of our larger focus on inclusion and diversity and an important indicator of our progress," said said Liz Ahmed, executive vice president of People and Communications at Unum.

Unum has a Women's Professional Network employee resource group and the insurer has been recognized previously by the Women's Forum of New York and the 2020 Women on Boards organization for female representation on the corporate board.

At First Tennessee, 60 percent of the overall workforce are women and 30 per cent of the executive management committee is female.

"We strive to create a culture where all have an equal opportunity to achieve their personal and career goals," said John Daniel, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at First Horizon. "Inclusion in this index is proof that our intentional efforts to date have been effective.

 

Mortgage rates steady this week

U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week, after falling for six straight weeks to reach their lowest levels in nine months.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from last week at 4.45 percent.

Rates remain far above last year's levels, however. The key 30-year rate averaged 4.04 percent a year ago.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate loans edged down to 3.88 percent from 3.89 percent last week.

 

Netflix projects slowing U.S. growth

Netflix's video streaming service added more subscribers than ever during the crucial holiday season, but the company signaled its growth is slowing in the U.S. as it begins to roll out double-digit price increases in its biggest market.

Netflix ended December with 139.3 million paid subscribers, slightly better than analysts had anticipated, according to FactSet. Of that total, 58.5 million were in the U.S., in line with what Netflix had projected.

Management predicted the company will gain another 8.9 million subscribers from January to March, but only 1.6 million are expected in the U.S. That is down substantially from an increase of 2.3 million paid U.S. subscribers at the same time last year.

That downturn in the U.S. raised alarms because Netflix is starting to raise its prices in the country by 13 to 18 percent this quarter, a move that the company is making to help pay for its rising programming costs as it competes for exclusive series and films against Amazon, Hulu, AT&T and Apple.

By charging more, Netflix can continue "a virtuous cycle where you've got the more investment you're putting in, the more people are finding content that they love and the more they have value in the service," said Ted Sarandos, the company's chief content officer, during a Thursday webcast.

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