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S&P500 racial justice and DEI scorecard separates leaders from laggards

As You Sow today released two S&P500 scorecards — one assessing companies on racial justice and the other on workplace equity disclosures. These benchmarks distinguish leaders from laggards on these material issues. The data includes 22 key performance indicators on racial justice and 31 key performance indicators on workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) disclosure.

The data is presented in two interactive tools enabling sorting and comparisons by sector, market cap, number of employees, and geography. Each company is scored against its peers and any three companies can be overlaid for competitive comparison. 

Among the top 10 for racial justice are Intel, HP, and Coca-Cola. At the bottom are Domino’s Pizza, O’Reilly Automotive, and Verisign. Leaders in workplace equity disclosure are Intel, Goldman Sachs, and Apple. At the bottom are Domino’s Pizza, Live Nation, and Dollar Tree.

The scorecards identify best practices, encourage corporate leadership, inform shareholder advocacy, and expose laggards in the transition to a more just society as featured in this recent TODAY Show segment. The results underscore the serious lack of statistical DEI data that prevents a clear understanding of the scope of racial disparity in corporate culture. Disclosure of this data is critical to establish best practices to build a just and diverse culture to eradicate systemic racism.

“The only way to end corporate complicity in systemic racism is to confront it head-on,” said Olivia Knight, As You Sow’s racial justice initiative coordinator. “Our goal in releasing the racial justice scorecard is to provide a helping hand to get companies on the path to end systemic racism, starting with the corporate sector.”

The scorecards are intentionally being released today, March 4, also known as “March Forth,” according to Urban Dictionary. “March Forth is a holiday where you work towards achieving your dreams … a day to focus, take a risk, and refuse to let reasons come between you and your goals.”

“It’s wonderful to see corporate commitments to racial justice and fair workplaces,” said Meredith Benton, principal at the consultancy Whistle Stop Capital and workplace equity initiative manager for As You Sow. “We say ‘actions speak louder than words’ because companies have done a lot of telling and very little showing of how they treat their employees.” 

Today’s release marks the continuation of As You Sow’s campaign to engage directly with corporations and eradicate the systemic racism perpetuated by corporate policies and practices. Since the November release of the S&P 250, the dialogues have begun; using our scorecards as the tool for corporate engagements, we have opened conversations with several corporations. The scorecards serve to highlight areas for improvement as well as providing opportunities for peer comparisons. 

“2020 was the year of truth, it was a year of reckoning for racial justice, it created a paradigm shift that business as usual in regards to racial justice, was over,” said Rev. Yearwood, president and founder of Hip Hop Caucus. “This scorecard from As You Sow on the S&P 500 racial justice policies and practices and workplace disclosures is a game changer. Not only for these companies that can make changes for the better but also for the communities I work in everyday who have felt the tsunami of terror from racial injustice for generations. I believe in the old saying, ‘if you knew better you would do better,’ this report removes all the excuses from these companies to get on the right side of history.” 

As You Sow’s research teams will demonstrate the scorecards on “March Forth” at 3 p.m. ET to show reporters how to identify companies leading the charge on these critical issues. Join us in our virtual world @ www.bit.ly/AYSworld.

Racial justice scorecards key findings:

  • Communications services and consumer staples are tied for the highest average sector scores and real estate and energy scored the lowest.

  • Of the S&P 500 companies, 66 per cent made statements after George Floyd’s murder. Of these, 50 per cent were posted on their websites — 16 per cent on social media and 34 per cent were silent.

  • 16 per cent of companies said their CEOs accept responsibility for racial justice.

  • 40 per cent named victims of police violence.

  • 14 per cent stated Black Lives Matter.

  • 17 per cent reference the phrase “systemic racism,” 28 per cent acknowledge pervasive racism, and 55 per cent are silent.

  • 6 per cent state they are, or aspire to be, an antiracist organisation.

  • 36 per cent of the companies made some financial donations to racial justice organizations; some contributed as much as 5 per cent of their market cap.

  • 6 per cent have joined #stophateforprofit, pledging to stop advertising on Facebook and others social media sites that promote hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and disinformation.

Workplace equity data disclosure key findings:

  • The largest companies by market cap, and the largest employers by headcount, are most likely to release meaningful workplace diversity and inclusion data.

  • Almost half (46 per cent) of the 100 largest companies by market cap in the S&P 500 release their consolidated EEO-1 forms, a good first step for sharing workplace composition. Within the 100 largest employers in the S&P 500, more than 1in 4 do so. Of the companies that fall within both categories 30 of 53 (57 per cent) release this form.

  • More than 1 in 4 of the largest 100 companies release their recruitment rates of female employees. Almost 1 in 5 release their retention rates of female employees, and 1 in 10 release their recruitment rate of female employees.

  • Disclosure rates of recruitment, retention, and promotion data by race and ethnicity is still catching up to gender data, likely a reflection of the #metoo movement gaining traction in 2017, while the protests in the aftermath of George Floyd murder began in late May, 2020, less than a year ago.

  • Across sectors, a few companies have shown early leadership in publishing recruitment, retention, and promotion data by race and ethnicity. These companies include: Allstate, Apple, BlackRock, Norfolk Southern Corp and Oracle Corp which release their recruitment rates; Alphabet, Edison International, Intel, PVH Corp and Twitter, which release retention rates; and Consolidated Edison, Goldman Sachs, Progressive, Twitter and Walmart which release promotion rates.

  • 16 per cent of the S&P 500 release at least one recruitment statistic related to race or ethnicity. Within the 100 largest companies by market cap, 23 per cent do so. Within the 100 largest employers, 23 per cent do so.

  • 22 per cent of the S&P 500 release at least one retention statistic related to race or ethnicity. Within the 100 largest companies by market cap, 21 per cent do so. Within the 100 largest employers, 23 per cent do so.

  • 15 per cent of the S&P 500 have released a quantifiable goal related to their workplace diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Within the 100 largest companies by market cap, 22 per cent do so. Within the 100 largest employers, 22 per cent do so. Of the companies that fall within both categories 13 of 53 (25 per cent) release this form.

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As You Sow is a nonprofit organisation 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, sspear@asyousow.org, 216-387-1609

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