In recent years, the drumbeat for transparency around workplace practices has grown louder and more resonant. Companies leading the way on issues like gender pay equity, non-discrimination, parental leave, and career development are taking initiative in a tight labor market to attract and retain top talent. And investors – like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who named human capital management as a core engagement priority this year – are directing more attention than ever toward the “S” in ESG.
However, per Peter Drucker’s “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” mantra, we can’t even begin to benchmark and incentivize enhanced performance on these critical workplace issues until more companies disclose their actual policies. With greater transparency, we can better understand how companies think about their workforce – whether as a calculated cost or investable asset – and begin to measure how companies actually perform relative to their peers on creating JUST jobs.
JUST Capital is taking a first step toward demonstrating the business case for increased transparency and worker investment with a groundbreaking new analysis of the state of disclosure at the 890 largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. We looked specifically at nine of the most important worker issues defined by the American public through our annual survey work and associated profitability measures.
This is the start of an ongoing effort to gather granular data on workforce policies to better understand performance as it relates to all employees. Of note is that today, many policies – particularly for companies with significant front-line staff – may only pertain to headquarters staff. Our goal is to incentivize the expansion of these approaches to cover frontline, contract, and part time workers as well. Americans agree that leadership and transparency around worker issues are imperative to just business, and we believe companies can demonstrate the proof behind their purpose through additional disclosure on these issues.
To provide insight into the prevalence of disclosure for each issue, as well as its relationship to profitability, we’ve charted the percentage of companies offering each policy and the associated median five-year Return-on-Equity (ROE). As you’ll see, companies disclosing JUST job policies reported higher ROEs of between 1.2% and 3% for eight of the nine issues, supporting the case that investing in JUST jobs can and should be a win-win for companies and their workers.
Out of the 890 companies we ranked in 2018, 18 “Win-Win Companies” provided disclosure on all nine policies, showing a commitment to transparency on some of the worker issues that matter most to Americans. The companies include:
|Alliance Data Systems||Jones Lang LaSalle||Qualcomm|
|Boston Scientific||Marriott||State Street|
|Goldman Sachs||NVIDIA||Texas Instruments|
To provide a more expansive view, we’ve aggregated all of our policy data into a new interactive tracker that can be filtered by issue and industry. The goal is to enable corporate leaders, investors, workers, and other stakeholders to quickly understand the state of disclosure today, and identify the ways to drive more transparency and workforce investment that better reflects the priorities of the American people.
Download a PDF of this report here.
Note to Companies: If you recently updated your policies or disclosures and would like the data to be reflected in our 2019 Rankings, please visit our Corporate Portal.
Have questions about our research and rankings? We want to hear from you!