Every year, JUST Capital polls the American public to find out what matters most when it comes to business practices and what a company should prioritize.
The key takeaway hasn’t changed since 2015: Regardless of income, age, political affiliation, or location, the public is united in their desire for corporate America to stop prioritizing shareholders above all else and to start sharing success with all stakeholders, including employees (primarily), as well as customers, communities, and the environment.
And now, corporate America agrees.
Earlier this year, the Business Roundtable – an association of the chief executive officers of nearly 200 of America’s largest and most influential companies – released a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. After 22 years of endorsing shareholder primacy – in which corporations exist principally to serve investors – the organization committed to a new ethos in which the purpose of a corporation is to benefit all stakeholders.
This move is a huge deal, but what matters now is implementation. There are lots of questions around what it might look like to put this new vision into action. We’ve already shared six examples of what it looks like for a company to invest in communities, and now we’re shifting the focus to workers.
How would you know if a company was truly committed to supporting its employees? What changes might you see as a result of a shift to stakeholder capitalism?
As with communities – and all other stakeholders – there’s not just one path to putting workers first. The best way to understand what prioritizing employees might look like is to seek out the companies that are doing it, like the five examples below.
1. International Business Machines (IBM) Increases Availability of Dependent Care Services via Its $50 Million Work/Life Fund
Overall JUST Capital Rank: 5
From its paid parental leave policy to day care services to flexible working arrangements, IBM is a long-time leader in supporting the work and family needs of its employees. One outstanding example is the tech company’s Global Work/Life Fund (GWLF), a multi-year $50 million effort to address work-life balance challenges, focusing on dependent care.
The first of its kind to address this issue worldwide, the IBM Global Work/Life Fund does the following:
- Increases the supply of services in communities where IBM employees live and work.
- Creates global initiatives to improve the quality of dependent care – childcare and elder care.
- Supports the development of new and innovative childcare programs.
- Invests in more than 300 childcare centers throughout the world where IBM employees receive priority.
2. NVIDIA Expands Its Women in Technology Program to India
Overall JUST Capital Rank: 6
Semiconductor company NVIDIA recently expanded its Women in Technology (WIT) program to India, helping employees across the globe broaden their technical knowledge and skills.
Launched in 2007, the WIT program hosts events designed to help employees, both technical and non-technical, develop their understanding of how NVIDIA operates externally and internally and to enhance their ability to contribute and grow within the company.
3. Accenture Commits to Hiring 5,000 U.S. Veterans and Military Spouses by 2020
Overall JUST Capital Rank: 12
One thing the leadership team at Accenture knows: They value fairness, respect, trust, and loyalty – all qualities gained through military service. That’s one reason why the company is committed to hiring 5,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2020.
Additionally, Accenture provides training and mentoring to support a transition from military to civilian work, including a unique two-month program to equip service members for careers in software engineering.
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4. Amazon Launches a New Virtual Primary Care Clinic for Workers and Their Families
Overall JUST Capital Rank: 30
Amazon made headlines in September 2019 for introducing Amazon Care, a virtual primary care clinic with an option for nurses to make home health visits. The benefit is being piloted for employees and their families in the Seattle area, which is home to Amazon headquarters.
The new health care offering includes an “in-app video visit with a doctor or nurse practitioner for advice, answers, diagnoses, treatment, or referrals,” according to the Amazon.care website. If needed, a Care Courier can deliver prescribed medications straight to your home or office within hours.
5. Zillow Group Release Its First-Ever Corporate Sustainability Report, Revealing Pay Equity Analysis
Overall JUST Capital Rank: 69
At JUST Capital, we believe that clear, unbiased data provide the first key step toward driving accountability and building a more balanced form of capitalism. That’s why we applaud Zillow Group for providing greater transparency into its business by releasing its first-ever Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR).
Among many other disclosures – including its paid parental leave policy and diversity and inclusion efforts – the report revealed the results of Zillow Group’s pay equity analysis for the first time. The company’s 2018 findings showed that, on average, women at Zillow Group earn $1.01 for every dollar a man with similar skills makes in a comparable role.
We’ve spoken out in the past about the critical importance of transparency around this issue, and while disclosure alone cannot close the pay gap, it is an essential first step to better understanding the landscape of pay equity in the U.S. and tackling the inequality that many women face in the workplace.
These are only a handful of examples of big moves being made to prioritize workers. To stay up to date on all the latest shifts to benefit workers, customers, the environment, and more, sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter!