The JUST Report: Americans Want CEOs to Advance Racial Equity – Here’s How They Can

Jay Owen SRI/ESG News, Latest Headlines

Americans Want CEOs to Advance Racial Equity- Here’s How They Can

In the face of a historic reckoning around racial injustice in America and a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that has likewise further exposed our society’s inequities, CEOs are faced with some difficult decisions.

How, exactly, should companies respond to the forces of racial and economic equity in ways that go beyond the traditional statements of support and philanthropic contributions? That’s where our polling comes in. This week, we published survey data on what Americans are demanding of corporate leaders to build racial equity in the workplace, and it’s clear that the public wants business to take actions that drive to the core of a company’s strategy and operations.

According to our findings, Black Americans feel most strongly about the actions they want to see businesses take, and companies looking to support them should consider aligning with their top priorities, including: Committing to paying all employees a living wage (89%), increasing business with Black-owned suppliers (89%), providing grievance mechanisms to report harassment and discrimination (88%), funding local programs to support more diverse hiring (88%), and tying executive pay to meeting diversity and inclusion goals (87%). Check out the full findings in our Chart of the Week, below.

We incorporated these findings into an in-depth blueprint for CEOs, which we co-wrote with some fantastic leaders at the mission-driven consulting firm FSG and the racial equity advocacy group PolicyLink. I hope you read it, share it, and send me your thoughts on it.

I draw your attention to two stand-out observations: First, it provides a powerful incentive for change when companies know a significant majority of their stakeholders support that change (in this case, the American public). Second, working toward racial equity means making changes to core operational priorities – pay, benefits, product development, marketing, the supply chain, and community outreach.

You can’t erase a legacy of inequity overnight. But there are clear changes you can begin making immediately.

Be well,
Martin Whittaker

This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancel their Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, and Dominion sells its natural gas transmission to Berkshire Hathaway, marking a shift towards cleaner energy for the U.S. utility.

Facebook was issued a damning civil rights audit for many of its laissez-faire policies for fighting discrimination and misinformation on its platform.

JetBlue creates a program to buy out many of its employees in order to avoid full-on layoffs, and it seems to be working.

McDonald’s halts its indoor dining reopening plans across the U.S. as coronavirus cases spike in many states.

United warns of 36,000 potential job cuts in October with travel demand still plummeting globally.

Target officially implements its $15 dollar minimum wage for all employees months ahead of schedule.

What’s Happening at JUST

The imperative of the 21st century is to make capitalism work for more people. We are proud to partner partner with a group of like-minded organizations trying to make sure that happens. Check out the new Imperative 21 website and joine the conversation!

Board Member Kip Tindell appears in the newly released documentary on stakeholder capitalism, Fishing With Dynamite. Watch it here, and use code JUSTcapital for $10 off.

This week, we evaluate the rate at which carbon-efficient companies grow their operating income over the trailing five-year period, and show that carbon-efficiency correlates with a higher operating income.