The JUST Report: Which States Have the Most JUST 100 Companies?

(Getty Images/gguy44)

When just business leadership is implemented effectively it can transform local economies and communities. It’s why this article in Hartford Business (“These Connecticut companies were named the most ‘just’ in the nation”) caught my eye this week.  

For the record, California is home to the greatest number of JUST 100 companies, taking up 24 spots including the No.1 company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. New York is next with 16, followed by Ohio (6) and Illinois (5). 

Beyond that, there are five states each with four companies (WA, TX, NC, NJ and CT); four with three companies (MI, MN, MA, VA); two with two companies (AZ and MD) and finally nine states each with a single representative (IA, GA, NE, IA, PA, OR, ID, RI and OK). So 24 states represented in total.  

Of course, there is more to this kind of analysis than meets the eye. Some states simply have more large publicly-traded companies headquartered there than others. Certain types of companies that tend to do well in the rankings – banks, technology and software firms – may be clustered in certain regions. Perhaps most importantly, the location of a company’s headquarters isn’t necessarily where its workers, facilities, and major operations are located.  

Still, the geographic footprint of a corporation is no doubt a crucial factor in its impact on the ground. And it begs a larger question – whether and how corporate justness can align with local and state social, economic, environmental and political goals. 

Should state legislatures, city officials and governors be working harder to support just companies that do better at creating good jobs, investing in workers and their families, supporting their local communities, and protecting the environment? Can regional industry groups and chambers of commerce do more to lift up and promote just business behavior to help build the financial, human, and social capital of cities across America? 

Earlier this year, JUST hosted a fantastic conversation with business and community leaders in Atlanta on that very question. We aim to build on that this year, so if you’d like to get involved, please reach out. 

Be well,


Quote of the Week 

Photo by Elena Oliva / Sight & Sound

“I don’t get into debates about DEI. I think the pushback is based on a myth of what it is. If you have a conversation with someone who is rational and intelligent, and you say, ‘Do you believe that different perspectives lead to better discussions?’ the answer will be yes. ‘Do you believe in a work environment where people feel like they can come to work and they can be their best selves because they are part of a team and valued?’ Absolutely. ‘Do you believe we should pay people fairly and the same for the same work?’ Oh, absolutely. Okay, well that’s DEI.” 

  • Patricia Russo, HPE Board Chairman (and member of JUST’s board), speaking at our JUST Leadership conference on the merit of DEI work. Read the full recap here. 

JUST 100 Policy Highlights

We’ll be highlighting some of the best policies across the JUST 100 in our next few newsletters, but for this week, we’re picking one policy each from the companies that landed 6-8 on the list. 

6. The Cigna Group came in 1st in its industry and 1st overall when it came to supporting  Customers thanks to their strong commitment to customer data protection, not selling users’ data or sharing users’ personal information with advertising or marketing companies, leading the Health Care Providers industry on Privacy Policy Transparency, and disclosing no data security breaches within the last reporting year, in addition to receiving no controversies or fines across the entire Customers stakeholder. 

7. Ecolab greatly improved its performance in JUST Capital’s Rankings, moving up from #325 in 2020’s Ranking to breaking into the top 10 for the first time this year, driven by its robust benefits including 12 weeks of paid maternity and 6 weeks of paid paternity leave, emergency backup dependent care, routine subsidized dependent care, a flexible working hours policy, and providing an average 27 hours of career development per employee and a tuition reimbursement policy. 

8. Elevance Health excelled at supporting their local communities, offering a rotational information technology apprenticeship for early career professionals, committing $160 million to affordable housing projects in 2022, and investing in the placement of 78 licensed social workers in schools across the state of Indiana in 2022 in support of mental health services and accessibility.


Google reports that it has been working with airline companies and using its AI to reduce the climate impact on contrails, which account for 35% of the aviation industry’s global warming impact. 

Seeing lots of large pay raises in your industry? It might be a harbinger of layoffs to come. Fortune reveals that many jobs at risk of being replaced by AI are seeing salary booms as the worker pool shrinks but companies still need humans to work these jobs until AI is able to replace them. 

Must Reads

Despite sustained pushback against diversity, equity, and inclusion from political figures, a new national survey finds a majority of senior business executives — across the political spectrum — say diversity initiatives are important for positive business performance, Marketplace reports. In addition Google’s Chief Diversity Officer speaks to the BBC about how the company remains committed to its diversity goals. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the financial industry’s ESG hiring boom is starting to cool amid cost cutting and initiatives to get faster returns on investment. 

Fortune highlights the cringe-inducing new trend of companies using euphemisms for “layoffs” in order to avoid social media backlash, especially amidst the trend of workers recording their final meetings with HR. 

Cryptocurrency companies must now report their energy use to the government due to a new initiative by the Biden administration, which many are calling a big win due to the heavy energy costs associated with the industry. 

Fortune reports that right now, there are 8 Black CEOS of Fortune 500 companies, a near-record high outside of 2022. 

Yahoo Finance counts down the 12 highest paid female CEOS in 2024. 

Chart of the Week 

This week’s chart is a high level summary of what separates the JUST 100 from the rest of the Russell 1000 that was featured in our Rankings launch announcement here. On average, companies in the JUST 100 outperform their competitors on a variety of metrics, including offering 2 more weeks on parental leave, having a 4% higher profit margin, paying more of their employees a family sustaining wage, and more. Dig into the details here. 

Have questions about our research and rankings?  We want to hear from you!