Year after year, we’ve learned through our survey research that the public want Workers to be the top focus for companies – in particular, that they receive a fair, living wage, have access to safe and accessible workspaces, have opportunities for training and professional advancement, receive benefits & work-life balance, and work in a diverse and inclusive environment.
Earlier this year, we also spoke with Americans in focus groups conducted alongside our partners at The Harris Poll to discuss how companies can create value for all their stakeholders – their workers, customers, communities, the environment and shareholders – regardless of intensifying political attacks on “woke” companies and the backlash to ESG. One of the most crucial things we heard is that investing in workers is the most powerful and authentic way companies can demonstrate their leadership. One Republican respondent put it simply:
“Taking care of employees is the first and most meaningful thing companies can do” to affect positive change.
This positive change impacts not only a company’s workers but its bottom line. Our Workers Leaders Index Concept – which tracks the top 20% of companies in our Rankings that perform best across all five of worker-related issues – has outperformed the Russell 1000 Cap-Weighted index by 3% and the Russell 1000 Equal Weighted index by 6.7% from December 31, 2021 to August 28, 2023
As we consider the significance of Labor Day in 2023, we are showcasing the 10 companies leading for their workers from our 2023 Rankings of America’s Most JUST Companies. Many of these companies are industry leaders when it comes to paying a living wage, offering strong paid parental leave, conducting pay equity analyses, and more – key steps required to meaningfully and actively support the American workforce. Our analysis of the top 10 found that these companies are outpacing the rest of the Russell 1000 in a number of ways:
- Eight of the Top 10 Companies for Workers disclose their minimum hourly wage and, on average, pay 1.3x more than Russell 1000 peers ($20.13 vs. $15.66).
- Nearly all of the Top 10 Companies for Workers conduct both gender and race/ethnicity pay gap analyses, while only 24% of the Russell 1000 overall have met this best practice.
- The Top 10 Companies for Workers, on average, offer 1.6x longer paid parental leave for primary caregivers (16.4 weeks vs. 10.4 weeks) and 1.2x longer leave for secondary caregivers (9.1 weeks vs. 7.5 weeks) than Russell 1000 peers.
- Nine of the Top 10 Companies for Workers disclose workforce demographic data by gender and race/ethnicity. Just one-third of the Russell 1000 have disclosed this highly detailed intersectional demographic data.
- Six of the Top 10 Companies for Workers are banks, which tend to outperform due to their high disclosure of minimum wage rates, as well as for conducting and releasing results of their gender and race/ethnicity pay gap analyses.
- All of the Top 10 Companies for Workers are members of the JUST 100.
Read more about how these companies are leading on the issues that matter most to the American public. The top 10 are listed below in ranked order on worker performance, based on our 2023 Rankings:
Ranked 1st Overall and 1st for Banks
Bank based in Charlotte, North Carolina
In addition to being the #1 company in our Rankings overall, Bank of America is also the top-performer when it comes to worker issues, thanks in part to its commitment to paying a living wage. By 2025, Bank of America pledges to offer a $25 minimum wage and has so far raised its minimum wage to $22 an hour. In addition, employees receive an extensive benefits package that includes 16 weeks of paid parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers, flexible scheduling, and backup dependent care. Bank of America also creates key pathways for workforce advancement, including $22 million in tuition assistance for employees’ educational pursuits in 2021 and an average of 49 hours of professional training.
Ranked 5th Overall and 2nd for Banks
Bank based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Truist stands out among its peers in the Banks industry for its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) disclosure, publishing detailed demographic data by race and gender in its 2021 EEO-1 Report, one of 34% of companies we rank to do so. Truist also publishes time-bound targets for increasing racial and ethnic diversity in its leadership, and is one of 9% of companies we rank to disclose the results of both its racial and gender pay equity analyses. In an effort to ensure the financial security of its workforce, Truist has set a minimum wage of $22 an hour for all employees.
Ranked 66th Overall and 1st for Consumer & Diversified Finance
Financial Services company based in Detroit, Michigan
Like its peers in the banking industry, Ally is a leader on the issue the American public deems most important – paying a fair, living wage – by raising its minimum wage from $17 to $20 an hour for all employees in 2021. The company also provides a wide range of benefits to its workforce, and in particular supports parents and new families with 12 weeks of leave or both primary and secondary caregivers, subsidized child care, and backup dependent care.
Ranked 2nd Overall and 1st for Semiconductors & Equipment
Technology company based in Santa Clara, California
Across the many ways it supports its workers, NVIDIA stands out for its paid parental leave, offering 22 weeks for primary caregivers and 12 weeks for nonbirth parents, along with eight weeks of flex time for all parents. In addition to doing right by working parents, NVIDIA has taken important steps toward advancing racial and gender equity, as one of 9% of companies that disclose the results of their gender and race/ethnicity pay gap analyses, which NVIDIA also disaggregates by different racial and ethnic categories. Alongside these important disclosures, NVIDIA is one of 34% of companies that disclose detailed workforce demographics data by race and gender.
Ranked 15th Overall and 4th in Banks
Bank based in Pittsburgh, PA
The third bank on our list of top companies or workers, PNC leads its industry when it comes to workforce advancement and supporting the development of its employees. PNC offers tuition assistance to its workers and in 2022, boasted an impressive 81% retention rate. In 2021, PNC increased its minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour, signaling its commitment to paying a living wage. The company also discloses the results of its pay equity analyses, sharing that women make 99% of the earnings of their male counterparts while people of color earn 100% of what their white colleagues earn.
Ranked 41st Overall and 3rd for Pharmaceuticals & Biotech
Biotechnology company based in in South Brunswick Township, New Jersey
Biogen’s inclusion in this list is thanks in part to the strong benefits employees receive, supporting their work-life balance and professional advancement. Offering a wide range of paid leave to employees, Biogen provides 15 days of PTO, 10 days of paid sick leave, and ample parental leave for both primary (16 weeks) and secondary caregivers (eight weeks). With its high retention rate signaling employee satisfaction, Biogen further supports employees’ advancement through tuition reimbursement and college planning services, on-the-job career training, and opportunities for upward mobility from within.
7. Capital One
Ranked 24th Overall and 6th for Banks
Bank based in McLean, Virginia
Continuing to underscore leadership from the banking industry, Capital One has demonstrated its commitment to the American public’s top priority – paying a fair and living wage – by setting a minimum wage of $19 an hour for all hourly employees. As part of these efforts to ensure its workers are compensated fairly, Capital One conducts both racial and gender pay equity analyses and, as one of just 9% of companies to publish the results of both analyses, shared that it had achieved pay parity for both women and people of color, as of 2021. Working parents are also supported through Capital one’s robust benefits package, which includes 18 weeks of primary caregiver leave and eight weeks of secondary caregiver leave, backup dependent care, and unlimited paid sick leave.
Ranked 8th Overall and 1st for Technology Hardware
Technology Hardware company based in Cupertino, California
Apple demonstrates a strong and ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by publishing its EEO-1 Report and detailed workforce demographic data. Especially significant is Apple’s disclosure that it had increased the number of Black employees in the U.S. by 71% between 2014 and 2021. Additionally, Apple conducts both gender and race/ethnicity pay equity analyses and reports the results, something just 9% of its Russell 1000 peers do. Significantly, Apple reports that it has achieved a 1:1 pay equity ratio among all workers since 2017. Finally, Apple leads its sector when it comes to paying a fair, living wage, providing the highest minimum wage amongst industry peers at $22 an hour.
Ranked 10th Overall and 3rd for Banks
Bank based in New York, NY
As the last bank included in this year’s Top 10 for Workers list, JPMorgan Chase stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its peers when it comes to many of the same key worker issues they prioritize. JPMorgan discloses detailed wage data, including a minimum wage starting at $18 an hour, as well as the results of its pay equity analyses by both gender and race/ethnicity – one of just 9% of companies that do so. In addition to its strong commitment to fair wages, JPMorgan prioritizes working families through key benefits like backup and subsidized child care, flexible scheduling arrangements, and 16 weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers.
Ranked 6th Overall and 1st in Telecommunications
Telecommunications company based in New York, NY
Verizon has been a fixture in our Rankings for many years, including as a JUST 100 company 2019-2023 and an industry leader in 2020, 2021, and 2023. The Telecommunications giant goes above and beyond on its demographic disclosures, releasing not only its 2021 EEO-1 Report but also providing in-depth breakdowns of the gender and racial makeup of its workforce across different departments and bands of seniority. Additionally, Verizon pays a $20 minimum wage to all employees and releases the results of its pay equity analyses, disclosing that since 2019 it has achieved 100% gender and racial pay equity.
Verizon is also part of our Worker Financial Wellness Initiative, which we launched in collaboration with PayPal, the Good Jobs Institute, and Financial Health Network, to help companies assess and ensure the financial health of their workers. Learn more about their efforts around financial wellness – and hear from current Verizon Project Manager Eddie Ervin on what makes Verizon an exceptional place to work.
To unpack your company’s performance on worker issues in the 2023 Rankings and gain insights into how to improve on the issues that matter most to the American public, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.