An announcement issued today states that an institutional investor group representing over $1.6 trillion in assets under management has launched a letter campaign calling for companies to provide more disclosure on workplace equity policies and practices relating to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other federally protected classes. The signatories believe that this type of information is material to investors and seek “more accurate assessments of the scope and depth of a company’s programs, its performance relative to peers, and improvement trends over time.”
The letter, referred to as the Investor Statement, references studies on the benefits of a diverse workplace, including findings by Equileap, an organization that specializes in providing data and insights on gender equality. According to Equileap, there is a gap between the public statements made by S&P 100 companies and the data publicly available showing the actions taken and the progress made by these companies on workforce-equity-related matters. The Investment Statement signatories are also calling for more information on topics such as recruitment, career development and workplace safety.
Equileap is in the process of sending the Investor Statement to 3,000 companies across 23 developed market economies. Names of the recipients are not provided in the announcement. While the letter campaign is currently accepting additional signatories, some of the current signatories to the Investor Statement include Arjuna Capital, As You Sow, AXA Investment Managers, ICCR, Pax World Funds, SHARE, Trillium Asset Management, Walden Asset Management, and Zevin Asset Management as well as a number of faith-based organizations.