New Scorecards Compare 250 Largest S&P Companies on Racial Justice and Workplace Equity Disclosure

11/18/2020, 3:59 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Berkeley, California, Nov. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As You Sow today released two scorecards on the 250 largest companies in the S&P on their racial justice policies/practices and workplace equity disclosures. These benchmarks of underlying injustice embedded in corporate governance will help to distinguish leaders from laggards on these material issues. The data includes 31 key performance indicators on workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) disclosure and 18 key performance indicators on racial justice.

The data is presented in two interactive tools enabling sorting and comparisons by sector, market cap, number of employees, and geographic location. Each company is scored against its peers and any three companies can be overlaid for comparison. The information is designed to identify best practices, encourage corporate leadership, inform shareholder advocacy, and expose laggards in the transition to a more economically just society.

“Workplace diversity and racial justice are critically important material issues for every company,” As You Sow’s CEO Andrew Behar said. “The two scorecards show that investors need more granular disclosure in order to establish best practices that will illuminate a path to authentic transformation. This is the first step on the path to build a just and diverse culture to eradicate systemic racism. This transformation will have a positive material impact on corporate brands and on society as a whole.”

Key findings of the scorecards include:

  • Alphabet and BlackRock are the only companies among the S&P250 that scored in the top 10 for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) disclosure and racial justice.
  • In the financial sector, Goldman Sachs is in the top 10 on DEI disclosure compared to American Express and Prudential, which both scored a zero and are in the bottom 10. U.S. Bancorp is in the top 10 for racial justice.
  • Soft drink giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola are in the top 10 when the scorecards are combined while competitor Monster Beverage is in the bottom 10.
  • Five information technology companies Intel, Autodesk, Apple, and Salesforce are in the top 10 for DEI disclosure; Microsoft is in the top 10 for racial justice.
  • In consumer staples, Walmart is in the top 10 while SYSCO, Hormel, and Colgate-Palmolive all scored zero in bottom 10 for DEI disclosure.
  • ExxonMobil is a standout as the only energy company in the bottom 10 on both scorecards.
  • Only 16 companies have released any inclusion data on Black employees. Compared with the 189 companies that have made racial justice statements, this is a paltry 8.5%.

Discrimination in the workplace and systemic racism are pervasive. These issues are intertwined and together present a material risk and an unprecedented opportunity for every publicly traded corporation. The horrifying death of George Floyd shocked our nation into confronting these issues; the ongoing uprising has brought voice to an overwhelming call to re-evaluate our most fundamental beliefs and institutions.

“It took the televised murder of a Black man under the knee of a policeman to jolt corporate America out of its complacency,” said Olivia Knight, As You Sow’s racial justice initiative coordinator. “The corporate statements range from expressions of horror and vows to promote change, to statements lauding existing policies of diversity and inclusion, with promises to ‘do better.’ The racial justice scorecard is intended to make corporations accountable for addressing systemic racism as part of corporate culture. This requires a long-term commitment with measurable goals and publicly accessible data to track progress.”

This work is based on the belief that it is critical to translate the recent protests and outrage into tangible and lasting change for all corporations. Despite the well-documented material benefits that companies gain through strong workplace diversity as well as in more just societies, they have been slow to realize the critical role they play in perpetuating systemic racism.

“Companies disclose anecdotal stories of happy employees, but are hesitant to publish diversity and inclusion metrics,” said Meredith Benton, workplace equity initiative manager for As You Sow and principal at the consultancy Whistle Stop Capital. “That's not how investors work; with material issues, we want to see data — the numbers. We have tracked 31 metrics that help show which companies are leading with meaningful disclosure, and which are leading with their PR teams.”

America is becoming a more diverse country; census data shows that by 2045, People of Color will be the majority of the population. This change will affect the labor market as well as consumer needs and interests. Companies must be in tune with these changing demographics in order to remain competitive. Companies need to be reflective of their communities to remain relevant and viable. An appreciation of the value of diversity and inclusion and a clear understanding of current barriers to racial equity will enable corporate growth as demographic changes occur. With companies acknowledging George Floyd’s death as a catalyst for change, they should be expanding their diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, training to create antiracist organizational goals, and reporting on the effectiveness of their efforts.

# # #

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building and innovative legal strategies. Click here to see As You Sow’s shareholder resolution tracker.

Stefanie Spear
As You Sow
Copyright GlobeNewswire, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
You can register yourself on the website to receive press releases directly via e-mail to your own e-mail account.