This report was written by JUST Research Analyst Aleksandra Radeva.
Two years ago, in the wake of our nation’s reckoning with racial injustice, corporate America committed to advancing racial equity through expanded diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. This year, we released an update to our 2021 Corporate Racial Equity Tracker, examining how America’s 100 largest employers have committed to advancing racial equity in their workplaces and communities.
Unsurprisingly, demographic representation continues to be at the forefront of corporate action around DEI, with 98% of companies disclosing data on the racial/ethnic composition of their workforces and/or boards. But to truly advance racial equity, companies need to address another critical component: ensuring that there is pay equity – in other words, that workers make the same wages for the same or similar roles, regardless of race or ethnicity. According to our recent survey research, 89% of the American public (up from 85% last year) agree that conducting annual pay analyses across demographic groups is important in advancing racial equity in the workplace.
And while the public believes that ensuring pay equity is an integral part of achieving racial equity, over half of the companies we tracked in the 2022 Corporate Racial Equity Tracker continue to lack disclosure around this issue. Only 43% of America’s largest 100 employers disclose conducting pay equity analyses with a specific focus on race and ethnicity. Even fewer companies disclose the results of their analyses, with just 22% of the 100 companies we track disclosing their non-white-to-white adjusted pay ratios.
Looking more closely at the 22 companies that disclosed their pay ratios in 2022, we found that all of them disclose being at or close to pay parity. In fact, more than half (13 companies) of those disclosing report a 1:1 ratio, indicating that employees of color receive equal pay to that of their white counterparts for equal work. These findings suggest that companies tend to embrace transparency around pay equity when their pay ratios suggest they have achieved – or are close to achieving – pay equity.
While disclosure on pay equity remains low overall, our 2022 Tracker showed that it is one of the dimensions that saw the largest percentage increase in disclosure since last year. Across the 85 companies that we tracked in both 2021 and 2022, disclosure increased, with the number of companies conducting race/ethnicity pay equity analyses rising by 11 percentage points and those disclosing the results by 10 percentage points, translating to 32% and 71% year-over-year increases, respectively.
Achieving racial equity in our workplaces – and in our nation overall – will be a complex and deliberate journey. Conducting and disclosing pay equity analyses, including the results, represents just one step along the way, but an important one. In making transparent the inequities present in our current system, taking steps to address those inequities, and disclosing progress, companies make real their commitments to building more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces, taking the concrete action needed to build a more just economy overall.
You can explore which of the 100 companies we assessed have disclosed conducting race and ethnicity pay equity analyses and the results of these analyses in the “Pay Equity” drill-down section of the 2022 Corporate Racial Equity Tracker below. For more information on our Tracker and racial equity work, please contact Ashley Marchand Orme, JUST’s Director of Corporate Equity.
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