The JUST Report: Can Two New Corporate Alliances Deliver Real Solutions?
“Together we stand, divided we fall
Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together”
John Lee Hooker
Companies are starting to hold each other accountable for their actions on key areas of stakeholder performance. And it’s striking that many of the underlying issues have distinctly bipartisan support.
Take a look at two important corporate alliances coming out this week.
The Alliance for Global Inclusion, spearheaded by Intel, Dell, Nasdaq, Snap, and NTT Data, will identify which policies these companies have had the most (and least) success with, in hopes of working toward a common set of best practices on issues including STEM readiness and inclusive product development. Our Editorial Director Rich Feloni interviewed Intel’s chief diversity officer, Dawn Jones, about it: “no one company will be able to do it alone,” she made clear.
The Second Chance Business Coalition, co-chaired by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Eaton CEO Craig Arnold, is another example. The corporate second chance movement has had strong bipartisan support, with Congress declaring April “Second Chance Month” in 2017.
“In this hypercompetitive global economy, we simply cannot afford to leave 70 million Americans on the sidelines,” said Dimon in a launch video this week. The coalition includes 29 large corporations, including Accenture, CVS, GM, Koch Industries, McDonald’s, Verizon, and Walmart. We track re-entry policies in our Racial Equity Tracker, so we know how impactful real action can be. From the coalition: “Research shows that nearly nine in 10 employers require applicants to undergo a background check, and a criminal record can reduce the chances of a second interview by 50 percent.”
There has been a lot of skepticism about corporate virtue signaling recently, and some of that is justified. But when companies work together in a focused way, are transparent about their actions, and actually hold each other accountable, the results can be game-changing. Think of the chemical industry’s actions on health and safety, begun in the late-1980s with the Responsible Care program, or Walmart and Patagonia’s founding of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (and associated Higg Index) a decade ago. As always, JUST will be tracking progress and keeping ‘em honest.
This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism
Amazon is raising pay for 500,000 warehouse workers and delivery drivers, between 50 cents and $3 an hour.
Blackstone is growing its ESG team to accelerate diversity and sustainability initiatives across its businesses.
PNC announces an $88 billion Community Benefits Plan to provide financial support to bolster economic opportunity for low- and-moderate-income communities, and communities of color.
PwC aims to hire 10,000 Black and Latino college grads by 2026.
Tesla offers a $100 million prize for inventors to develop ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or ocean.
Walmart is shown to have significantly more Black and Latino representation in its upper management than rival Amazon.
Thursday May 6th at 1:00PM ET: Join us for a closer look at our new Corporate Racial Equity Tracker. We will reveal key insights, answer questions, and share best practices we uncovered across six key dimensions – from workforce demographics to pay equity to community investment. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.
Tuesday, May 11th at 4:00PM ET: How are business leaders grappling with America’s racial injustice reckoning? What can CEOs do to center racial equity and justice within their companies, communities, and society? JUST Capital will join PolicyLink President and CEO Michael McAfee, Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, and former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario to discuss the courageous business leadership we need today to build an equitable nation for all of us. Register here.
On Thursday, May 6th: Alison Omens joins Corporate Citizenship for a conversation on Worker Health and Well-Being, and why it’s a material sustainability issue for business. Register here. And on Friday, May 7th: Kavya Vaghul joins Just Brands ‘21 to share key insights fromour Corporate Racial Equity Tracker. Register here.
What’s Happening at JUST
JUST Capital data powered key media profiles this week including Business Insider’s 21 Most Transformative CEOs of 2021 as well as Variety’s annual update to its Massive Mogul Moneyfeature exploring what media’s most powerful execs were paid and how their companies stack up when it comes to taking care of their stakeholders – workers, customers, communities, the environment, and shareholders.
In addition, insights from our Corporate Racial Equity Tracker were showcased in Sustainable Brands’ preview of their JUST Brands conference and in a Women’s Wear Daily feature exploring the new KPIs driving the fashion industry’s sustainability goals.
Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images
“It’s not just the fringes questioning free market orthodoxy in a time of disease. Cross-partisan supermajorities of Americans want some of the biggest companies of America to be broken up, significantly higher minimum wages, a wealth tax on billionaires, and believe significantly more public investment is required to create economic growth.”
- Chris Hughes, co-chair of the Economic Security Project and a Senior Advisor at the Roosevelt Institute, in a Time Magazine essay.
“We’ve been around for over a century and we want to be for another, so we have to have a long-term perspective…we’re looking 50 years ahead, and we want Exxon to be around 50 years from now.”
- Aeisha Mastagni from CalSTRS explaining why they’re teaming up with Engine No. 1 to push for major change at ExxonMobil in our latest interview
“ Our best future will not come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams; it will come from the American people – Black, Hispanic, White, Asian. Republicans and Democrats. Brave police officers and Black neighborhoods. We are not adversaries. We are in this together.”
- Senator Tim Scott, giving the Republican rebuttal to Biden’s State of the Union Address on Wednesday night
Must-Reads of the Week
A Glassdoor poll of more than 12,000 employees covered in New York Times’ DealBook revealed that Black workers rated their companies well below the overall average on diversity and inclusion efforts, signifying perhaps that talk of commitment is not enough, and that perceptions reflect the realities of racial pay gaps.
The Wall Street Journal reports that many restaurant owners – from fast food to fine dining – are raising pay and adding bonuses in an attempt to lure back restaurant workers as demand continues to increase. Related, Business Insider reports that Bank of America believes the hiring squeeze will ease up come 2022.
David Gelles at The New York Times chronicles the companies that laid off thousands of workers in 2020 but managed to double their CEOs’ pay.This follows a growing trend of CEOs leaving failing or economically crushed companies and still walking away with big payouts, like Gamestop’s CEO exiting the company with $290 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times and Fortune react to Basecamp banning political talk in their offices, echoing a similar move made by Coinbase last year.
Forbes looks at why remote work is here to stay, particularly because of the expanded talent pool it gives employers.
Chart of the Week
Our chart this week looks at the performance of our two active indexes – the JUST 100 (JUONE) and the JUST U.S. Large Cap Diversified (JULCD) – over the trailing year relative to the Russell 1000 Index.