In Response to Recent Corporate Statements on Racial Justice, New York Comptroller Urges Companies to Disclose Workforce Diversity Data
On July 1, 2020, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer announced an initiative calling on companies who recently issued supportive statements on racial equality to publicly disclose the composition of their workforce by race, ethnicity and gender.
“It is not enough to condemn racism in words; systemic change in corporate America will require concrete action and accountability,” said Comptroller Stringer. “We’re asking companies that issued statements in support of racial justice to walk the walk and publicly disclose the demographics of their employees by race, gender, and ethnicity – including in their leadership and senior management. This information is crucial for shareowners to better understand diversity and workforce practices and identify areas for growth. Companies are stronger and deliver better value when they are inclusive and representative, and the CEOs of these leading companies should take direct action to match their words.”
Comptroller Stringer, acting on behalf of three New York City retirement systems with an aggregate of approximately $150 billion in assets under management, launched his campaign by sending a letter to the CEOs of 67 S&P 100 companies, asking them to back up their recent statements with concrete action by publicly disclosing their annual EEO-1 Report data. According to the Comptroller’s press release, “the Consolidated EEO-1 Report is the ‘gold standard’ for diversity disclosure and will enable investors to evaluate the performance of portfolio companies in terms of their ability to hire, retain, and promote employees of color and women.”
In his letter, Comptroller Stringer threatens nonresponsive companies with potential shareholder proposals or opposition to director nominees at the next annual shareholder meeting.