On September 28, JUST Capital held its latest Insights to Impact virtual event – Defining a JUST Job for Today’s Economy.
In an increasingly polarized country, the American public (and a growing number of institutional investors) are remarkably united in wanting companies to prioritize their workers. And investing in workers today requires creating truly “JUST Jobs.” But what is a JUST Job? This virtual convening set out to answer that question by exploring specific ways companies can close the gap toward all workers earning a living wage, advance equity & mobility, and deliver on the DEI commitments that are crucial to evolving the modern workforce.
JUST Capital’s Chief Strategy Officer, Alison Omens, kicked off the event highlighting our latest polling insights around jobs and wages in America. Our annual Issues Report, examining the public’s priorities for companies, found that once again “Pays a fair, living wage” is the most important issue to Americans across all demographics. And, four out of the top six Issues are Worker-related. Additional polling found that, not only do 84% of Americans believe large companies have a responsibility to pay full-time adult workers in frontline jobs enough to make ends meet, but large majorities of Americans also believe companies it’s a company’s responsibility to regularly increase wages to keep up with the rapidly rising cost of living (87%), provide quality, affordable health insurance to all adult workers, including part-time workers (84%), provide clear career pathways to job opportunities with higher pay (83%), and more.
It’s clear the American public supports the idea of a “JUST Job,” setting the stage for the conversations ahead.
Next up, JUST Capital’s Cambria Allen-Ratzlaff, Managing Director & Head of Investor Strategies, moderated a discussion on how creating JUST Jobs builds long-term value with speakers Meredith Miller, Director, Amalgamated Bank and Managing Member, Corporate Governance and Sustainable Strategies and Anne Simpson, Global Head of Sustainability, Franklin Templeton. Together, they addressed the very real challenges of prioritizing corporate investment in workers, fair wages, and DEI advancement. “People matter in investment. Value creation in a company doesn’t just come from deploying capital,” Simpson said, emphasizing that this is as much a mindset shift as it is a market one.
The next session focused on advancing equitable mobility, with insights from industry leaders from JUST Capital’s 2022 Workplace Equity and Mobility Ranking, American Electric Power and Mastercard, on how they’re supporting workers’ financial security and creating equitable pathways for their economic advancement. The session was moderated by Leslie Boissiere, Vice President, External Affairs from The Annie E. Casey Foundation (our partner on the ranking) with insights from Sandy Nessing, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, American Electric Power, and Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer, Mastercard.
And finally, we concluded with a conversation on defining and measuring a JUST Job, which highlighted actionable takeaways about how corporate America can get closer to creating quality jobs. Moderator Kelley-Frances Fenelon, Director of Programs and Partnerships at JUST Capital, spoke with Rachel Korberg, Executive Director, The Families and Workers Fund and Kavya Vaghul, Senior Director of Research, JUST Capital.
Tolu Lawrence, Managing Director of Programs and Partnerships at JUST Capital, closed out our program with thanks to the cross-sector network of organizations that support our work on JUST Jobs including MetLife Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. If you’re interested in learning more about how to engage with JUST Capital on this topic, please submit this short interest form and a member of our team will be in touch soon.
If you weren’t able to attend or missed any part of the event, the full video is available below.