Data clearly demonstrates the persistence and pervasiveness of systemic racism in this country, and its material impacts for a significant portion of our population. By midway through 2020, Black households—who accounted for 13.4% of the U.S. population—held just 4% of total household wealth (Federal Reserve, 2020). And as of May 2021, there were only five Black CEOs in the Fortune 500—down from six in 2012 (Yahoo! Finance, 2022). Corporate America has a particular role in perpetuating the underlying problem and a critical responsibility to take more aggressive action to solve it.
In 2021, we wrote the CEOs of our top holdings to make clear the steps we believe all companies should take immediately to address systemic racism:
- Build diverse companies and provide comprehensive disclosure;
- Set clear goals to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion and build in accountability measures to achieve them; and
- Adopt policies to promote an inclusive workplace and provide transparency on performance.
In response to our letters, we held constructive conversations with over a dozen companies, and continue to monitor their progress towards cultivating diverse and equitable teams.
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