George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis — home of Plus’s global headquarters — and the year since has been marked by plenty of pain and grief in our community. But it’s also sparked important conversations about racial justice and equality at companies across the country.
As Bloomberg reports, “2021 is shaping up to set records for diversity proposals at U.S. company annual meetings.” Politico took a closer look last month at the pressure shareholders are putting on companies to diversify their executive ranks and provide more reliable diversity data.
“We’re no longer debating the issue of whether or not diversity adds value to a company,” Aeisha Mastagni, a portfolio manager at CalSTRS, told Politico. “There’s so much evidence and academic studies that show diversity adds value that we’ve gotten past that debate and gotten to what companies are trying to do to move the needle.”
That same Politico article notes that “it’s still a white man's world at the top,” and there is no doubt that plenty of work needs to be done to increase diversity within corporate boardrooms. But shareholders are making it clear that they’re going to hold companies to the statements they’ve made in the past year in support of racial justice. Talk is nice, but now the rubber is meeting the road.
Mobility is going to play a key role as this process plays out. I wrote last month about how HR and mobility teams can help attract and develop more diverse leaders from within their organizations. With pressure coming from shareholders to do exactly this, mobility teams that make this a priority will show tremendous value to their larger companies — and more importantly, they’ll help change the corporate world for the better.
A year after the death of George Floyd galvanized protests against racial injustice, the same cultural pressures that prompted hundreds of the largest companies to pledge changes in their business operations to support racial equity are now fueling an unprecedented number of boardroom proposals designed to ensure they keep their word.