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The New Blueprint for Business


The majority of Americans believe in capitalism but want to see it improved, especially through treating workers with respect and equal opportunity. We know that because we’ve asked them.

This is why we’re proud to be a founding member, along with PolicyLink and FSG, of the Corporate Racial Equity Alliance. Drawing from collective expertise, we have released The 2021 CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity. It features significant updates to the first version of the Blueprint, which Target’s head of corporate responsibility, Amanda Nusz, told us was “a valuable resource” for Target’s Racial Equity Action and Change committee last year.

Readers can find intelligence on successful racial equity strategies and suggested actions to take, as well as mini case studies of what worked at companies like PayPal and Prudential.

Damon Jones, P&G’s head of communications and advocacy, told us that the Blueprint’s value lies in showing how companies can address this with immediate action, and noted: “Trust, transparency and accountability are increasingly factors that will help determine what people choose to buy and where people choose to work – and words without deeds will have both reputational and financial consequences.”

Our Chief Strategy Officer, Alison Omens, discussed our work on this on CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday morning. She cited the leadership example of Starbucks, where non-executive chair Mellody Hobson has helped drive performance across a range of DEI metrics (such as pay equity and career development) included in our Corporate Racial Equity Tracker.

As Alison said, “we can’t be separating these issues” into silos or one-off projects separate from the core business strategy, because history has shown that doesn’t lead to real results.

And that is what it is all about – real results – for shareholders and workers alike.

I hope you and your family enjoy the July Fourth weekend!

Be well,
Martin Whittaker

 

This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism

Capital One allows employees to work from home Mondays and Fridays even after offices are re-opened.

GM establishes a climate equity fund in an attempt to make electric cars feasible for Americans of any income level.

Johnson & Johnson to pay $230 million to New York in a settlement that ensures it will permanently stay out of the opioid business in the U.S.

Lego makes a breakthrough enabling them to produce greener bricks made of recycled plastic drink bottles.

Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo announce aggressive stock buyback and dividend plans as the economy recovers.

Salesforce announces its first sustainability bond at $1 billion.

UBS plans to allow two-thirds of its employees to adopt permanent hybrid work schedules.

 

What’s Happening at JUST

We spoke to Engine No. 1 and Betterment on the launch of the Transform 500 ETF ($VOTE) and how it aims to change the future of ESG for retail investors with an active proxy voting strategy. Listen to the full conversation here.

Martin and our partner John Gerzema of The Harris Poll, sat down with Ethisphere to talk about how 2020 accelerated public opinion towards stakeholders, especially employees and what that means for the future.

Harvard Business School delves into key insights from a research paper created by Assistant Professor Ethan Rouen and colleagues at Stanford and UT Austin utilizing JUST COVID-19 data in this article exploring how just factors impacted worker treatment during the pandemic.

BBC Worklife features the same HBS, Stanford, and UT Austin research and spoke with Alison in a piece on how employer policies are driving low-wage and essential workers to quit their jobs in droves.

Yusuf recaps findings from JUST Capital’s Corporate Racial Equity Tracker in this new podcast from Common Impact featured on Yahoo Finance.  Impact Alpha covers our recent board expansion, and Bloomberg covers our piece on board racial/ethnicity disclosures.

 

The Forum

“As we’ve seen over the past several years, corporations have an enormous potential to effect positive change for the LGBTQ+ community nationally and globally, through visible campaigns, such as those during Pride, but also through supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives within their businesses and hiring and supporting LGBTQ+ employees. While it’s fantastic to see the visibility of celebrities and rainbow logos during June, that alone doesn’t do justice to the positive work being done by many companies, including our 85+ member firms who are dedicated to equality for LGBTQ+ people globally all year round.”

  • Todd Sears, Founder and CEO of Out Leadership, to JUST, reflecting on this past Pride Month, which ended Wednesday. He cited P&G as an example of a corporation that supports the community both through messaging and action, including financially supporting grassroots movements.

“As a transgender man, I am especially aware of how the experiences of LGBTQ workers are shaped by policies that can dramatically impact their daily lives. But HRC has, and will continue, to make clear that values of equality do not end with inclusive employment policies. The Corporate Equality Index is just one set of measures – it doesn’t measure PAC contributions. A company should not tout its CEI score as a shield for PAC contributions to anti-LGBTQ lawmakers. LGBTQ employees, customers and allies deserve direct explanations from companies about PAC donations to lawmakers who actively harm our community.”

  • Jay Brown, Senior VP of Programs, Research, and Training at the Human Rights Campaign, to JUST in response to Popular Information’s report that 25 companies scoring highly on the CEI also donated a total of $10 million to politicians the HRC gave a 0 on Congressional scorecard.

“We continue to encourage our employees, and certainly I would say myself, to show up as their authentic self every day. … When we hire somebody, we hire the full person, their partners, their spouse, their families, all of their issues.”

  • Beth Ford, CEO of Land O’ Lakes, at Microsoft’s Envision virtual event. Ford is the first openly gay woman to serve as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and spoke about LGBTQ inclusion and why she believes engaging workers in a fuller way has made her company more resilient.

 

Must-Reads of the Week

Axios reveals new polling insights from Indeed showing that workers without college degrees (who also tend to be in lower-wage jobs) are not returning to work primarily because of fear of COVID-19 and low vaccination rates (25%) and childcare responsibilities (20%). Only 12% cited unemployment insurance as the reason they’re not rushing to get a job.

The New York Times similarly reports that in states like Missouri, which ended federal unemployment benefits, employers are still struggling to fill low-wage jobs with scant benefits.

Vox explains the crunch that the airline industry is about to face with a rush of people ready to travel, but a dearth of employees to help them because of layoffs last year.

CNBC increases coverage around the “Great Resignation,” while Quartz explores another new trend – the increase in adults retiring this year.

The New York Times shines a light on the cultural shift that will need to come along with increased paid paternity leave benefits with new research showing when all new dads take the benefit, no one’s earnings suffer.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study showing CEOs are more likely to be fired for riling shareholders about social, rather than financial, concerns.

Chart of the Week

This week’s chart shows which sectors are more likely to disclose their board’s racial/ethnic diversity over others. Click here for a deeper dive with additional charts and insights.

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