One of the most just CEOs of the last several years, PayPal’s Dan Schulman, will step down toward the end of September.
As The Wall Street Journal points out, Schulman’s tenure has seen many big wins as well as some challenges. One aspect of his legacy we think will endure the most is the impact he made on the company’s employees and the larger conversation he helped spark in corporate America around the power of investing in workers’ financial well-being.
Dan’s appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box alongside JUST Capital’s co-founder and chair Paul Tudor Jones in December 2019 is on my personal highlight reel. It’s a tour de force of plain spoken, pre-backlash, non-political, stakeholder-centered corporate leadership. “I believe very strongly that the only sustainable competitive advantage that a company has is the skill set and the passion of their employees” he states. His leadership subsequently inspired our partnership on The Worker Financial Wellness Initiative with PayPal, Good Jobs Institute, and Financial Health Network – a movement now comprising employers representing nearly a million workers, including Verizon, Chipotle, Prudential Financial, and Chobani, and having genuine impact on the ground (see our Chart of the Week below for details).
The country clearly needs sustainable, long-term solutions to addressing the economic insecurity felt by so many. It’s why “Pays a Fair, Living Wage” remains the #1 priority in our nationwide polling. And while government continues to argue about who’s to blame and what to do – I didn’t see much in the way of new ideas at the Republican primary debate on Wednesday – companies have every incentive they need to take a leadership role. Dan Schulman has shown them the way.
JUST IN THE NEWS
Ashley Marchand Orme, JUST Capital’s director of equity initiatives, spoke with FT Agenda Week about a new report revealing 56% of the S&P 500 disclose having diverse board candidate search policies. “The Rooney Rule approach doesn’t completely solve the problem of board homogeneity, but it does at least aim to chip away at one sizable barrier to board diversity: the limited social networks of existing directors,” she said.
Teneo references JUST data in its guidance report to companies on how to navigate new challenges regarding social issue engagement in light of the upheaval in policies and practices due to recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, federal and state legislative initiatives, and the political repercussions of culture wars.
RetailWire highlights JUST’s data on the number of companies that have closed the racial pay gap in an article spotlighting how retailers have generated $14 billion for Black-owned companies through the Fifteen Percent Pledge, which asks major retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands to mirror the Black community making up 15% of the U.S. population.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“I just feel taken care of. I feel like I have all of the support that I need … I mean, it truly is coming from him. I feel that this is personally gifted from Dan Schulman.”
- PayPal employee Mark Parker to JUST Capital on The Worker Financial Wellness Initiative, which outgoing CEO Dan Schulman helped co-create.
“Dan has led from the front in putting our employees first. Throughout his leadership at PayPal, he has been outspoken about the inequities in our economy and financial system that result in so many people and families feeling financially vulnerable. Dan’s leadership on employee financial wellness is consistent with his deep commitment to fulfilling PayPal’s mission.”
- Franz Paasche, PayPal’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer to JUST Capital on outgoing CEO Dan Schulman’s impact on the company’s workforce.
Twilio announces it will add AI “nutrition labels” to its products to provide greater transparency for users implementing new software.
Fast Company explores why Microsoft is leading the AI development race and how the company’s separated itself from the pack.
The Financial Times highlights the discrepancy between CEOs extolling the promise of AI to investors while falling short of implementing the technology at their companies in a material way.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna argues that although the introduction of AI may lead to job loss, Americans’ quality of life will benefit from it in the long run.
Axios reports on the growing pains companies face as they try to integrate AI. Unexpected costs and data management hurdles are the primary issues.
A new study from the International Labour Organization raises fears that 21 million jobs held by women and 9 million jobs held by men could be replaced by AI, potentially deepening gender inequity. Bloomberg shares a study from the American Staffing Association that found close to half of Americans believe their jobs could be automated by the new technology.
Paul Washington and Andrew Jones of The Conference Board publish a new piece in Barron’s detailing five clear steps companies should take to clarify their strategy and communications to navigate the ongoing ESG backlash.
The return-to-office debate rages on. Forbes dives into the numbers, exploring if the data supports the C-suite’s assertion that productivity falls when employees work from home or if that theory is based on nostalgia. Bloomberg reports that Goldmans Sachs is cracking down on laggards, CNBC reveals that Amazon is seeing some employees quit instead of moving as part of a relocation mandate, and Fortune shows how Lyft is taking a different approach, branding its effort as a “homecoming” and providing greater flexibility regarding hours and schedules.
The Wall Street Journal highlights the Americans who are taking second jobs for fertility benefits. Employers are offering the perk to lower paid, hourly employees who may not be covered under their primary insurance.
Randall Leach, the CEO of Beneficial State Bank, pens an opinion piece in Fortune arguing that unionization doesn’t need to create distrust and tension between workers and management. Leach leads the first U.S. bank to unionize in 40 years.
A Fast Company editorial co-authored by the Ford Foundation’s Chief People Officer and the principal consultant at SH Gilbert Advisorsdiscusses how deeply and directly DEI efforts are connected to the bottom line, employee engagement, and a company’s long-term success.
Axios writes about climate change’s impact on utility companies, which were once seen as a safe investment sure to offer steady returns. The fire in Maui, along with other recent climate-related events, is changing the picture.
CHART OF THE WEEK:
This week’s chart looks at the impact of the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative. The Initiative’s 14 participating companies represent nearly 1 million American workers – equivalent to one in every 176. Since joining, 92% of these companies have assessed the financial wellness of their workforce and several have taken actions like raising wages or expanding benefits in response. Learn more about the Initiative and hear firsthand from workers at participating companies on its benefits here.