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February being Black History Month, it’s a great time for business leaders to take stock of their progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments.
Our polling indicates that a significant majority of Americans across all demographic and ideological cuts support action by companies on DEI, and hundreds of companies have already made public commitments to diversify their workforce and be more transparent about the journey. The business case for doing so, as McKinsey and others have highlighted, is strong. And as Ashley Marchand Orme, our Director of Corporate Equity, said this week in both a CNBC segmentand Fortune editorial, employers with at least 100 employees are already legally obligated to report intersectional diversity data (gender, race, and ethnicity) on their workforce to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The data exists, it’s just a matter of sharing it publicly.
Business leaders often fear disclosing information until it tells a good story. This needn’t be the case. As Accenture CEO Julie Sweet noted in a CNBC interview last month, when Accenture released its EEO-1 data in 2015, the “numbers weren’t great.” But taking that step built trust with internal stakeholders and became attractive to potential recruits.
Another reason for being proactive on disclosure is that investors increasingly want more data too. State Street, for example, said recently it is prepared this coming proxy season to vote against boards of S&P 500 companies not disclosing EEO-1 numbers.
A new report from our Research team shows that, as of last September, 55% of Russell 1000 companies released some form of diversity data, up from 32% in January 2021; over that same period, the number of companies disclosing their full EEO-1 data or equivalent rose from 4% to 11%. It’s clear that progress on DEI-related disclosure is inevitable; the question is which business leaders will choose to lead the way and which will be left behind.
This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism
Apple is doubling the amount of sick time for its full- and part-time retail employees.
Amazon boosts maximum base pay from $160,000 to $350,000 for corporate and tech employees as part of an overall increase in compensation intended to help recruit top talent.
Google increases the length of its paid parental leave, caregiver leave, and minimum vacation days. It also announces partnerships with AARP and Ford on workforce readiness and mentorship programming.
Mastercard invests $5 million in Howard University’s Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics (CADSA) program, which aims to eliminate racial bias in AI.
What’s Happening at JUST
With increased calls from investors, regulators, and employees for greater transparency on DEI progress, we released an update to our ongoing analysis of how America’s largest companies are measuring up on workforce demographic disclosures.
Our chief strategy officer, Alison Omens, outlines the five elements that employers investing in the “S” in ESG should factor into their strategies to retain and engage workers as the Great Resignation continues.
Barron’s features seven stocks that will thrive in this current labor shortage, leveraging data insights and financial performance analysis from our 2022 Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies.
CNBC’s Eric Rosenbaum explores how investors are getting more involved in union efforts, and talks with Alison about the overall movement from investors to increase focus on worker issues.
Jon Hale of Morningstar takes a hard look at what The Wall Street Journal missed in its critical look at ESG investing, while highlighting JUST research.
JUST Board member Peter Georgescu highlights how Microsoft’s commitment to stakeholder capitalism has propelled astonishing recent growth.
Tim Ryan, Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC, writes on how business can maintain consumer trust while referencing his latest interview with JUST.
“As employers look to attract and retain critical talent, they’re shifting their investment into their employees – creating meaningful work opportunities, investing in learning and upskilling, and creating career advancement opportunities – all while providing new flexible working options to meet employee personal needs. 2022 will be an important year for employers to build trust between employers and employees, as they seek to stabilize their teams and position for growth.”
- Julia Lamm, PwC Workforce Transformation Principal, responding to the findings in the firm’s latest pandemic CEO survey.
“If we want to stop the caregiving crisis from killing women’s careers, we need corporate America to wake up and realize that they are part of the problem and that other barriers beyond their control need to be recognized and addressed.”
- Tami Forman, the executive director of Path Forward, in her Fortune op-ed, “Women’s workforce participation has plummeted. Here’s how to reverse the trend.”
“72% of leaders surveyed see reputation as a bigger driver of business performance than margin in the next five years. And, in the next 12 months, 92% of leaders believe ESG issues will impact a company’s reputation.”
- Insights from Tom Jenkin in Signal AI’s report, “The State of Corporate Reputation and Business Performance”.
Must-Reads of the Week
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new law that will require NYC businesses to list minimum salaries on all job applications.
A call to #ShowUsYourLeave swept through LinkedIn last week, with many major companies revealing their paid parental leave policies across the platform. Check out the hashtag thread here for the details – this is the kind of transparency we like to see!
Cutbacks in childcare and the struggle to hire more workers are costing young parents $13 billion a year according to Fortune, and Axios shows how this is a contributing factor keeping women from returning to the workforce.
Axios reveals why fertility services are growing as a worker benefit across many major companies, and takes a look at the big investors that are pushing retailers to expand their paid sick leave options.
Quartz breaks down SBTi’s list of the 243 companies that have set actual science-based targetsto reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Washington Post reports that the EPA is making big moves to monitor pollution in the South’s “cancer alley,”which is awash with chemical plants.
Chart of the Week
This week’s charts showcase the fast-growing trend among companies to disclose their EEO-1 reports or equivalent data. Furthermore, companies that disclose this level of detail on workforce demographics outperform their non-disclosing peers by 2.4% over the trailing one-year period.