Diversity in the Workplace

The number of shareholder proponents about diversity at work has dropped by half to 16, down from 31. Just one this year is about LGBTQ rights; the rest address discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender. All seek more disclosure and action to provide equal employment opportunities. In a switch from earlier, only two of those now public are repeats, but three more also have been filed at undisclosed companies. Proponents have withdrawn two so far after agreements, but more accords are likely. (Also see proposals seeking executive pay links to diversity, p. 74.)

Proponents continue to press a range of different sorts of companies to explain how they are ensuring employee gender, race and/or ethnicity does not affect equal access to employment, or prompt discrimination once on the job. The equal employment opportunity (EEO) campaign had surged in 2017 and 2018, but proponents this year seem to be focused on other topics, despite continued unacceptable workplace behavior and continuing fallout from the #MeToo movement.

(Proposals about greater gender pay equity are covered in the Decent Work section above, p. 41. The Sustainable Governance section (p. 60), describes 28 other proposals seeking greater board diversity—focused on women but increasingly minorities; both are deeply underrepresented on corporate boards.)

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