PolicyLink, FSG, JUST Capital Publish Groundbreaking Report on Corporate Racial Equity Standards and Launch Public Comment Period
The organizations, which make up the Corporate Racial Equity Alliance, are working to transform how the private sector advances equity.
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Corporate Racial Equity Alliance launched an effort Tuesday to garner public feedback on how the private sector can most effectively advance racial and economic equity.
Founded by PolicyLink, FSG, and JUST Capital, the Alliance is undertaking a multiyear effort to develop standards for how businesses can further racial and economic equity, including new common disclosure standards, with performance indicators and metrics to help businesses, investors, workers, consumers, and others more easily track and measure their progress.
The Alliance’s latest report outlines the scope and structure of the new framework and invites the public to lend their voice and help shape the standards that will set new norms for equity in the private sector. Core to their development process is engaging a broad array of stakeholders to help shape the standards. In conjunction with the release, the Alliance is launching a 60-day public comment period to get broad stakeholder feedback on the scope and structure of the standards. Members of the public—including equity advocates, community leaders, workers, young people, under- or unemployed people, consumers, investors, businesses, standards setters, public leaders, and business affinity organizations—can learn more about how to get involved and share their insights through June 3, 2022.
Adopting new policies and practices that advance racial and economic equity—defined as just and fair inclusion into a society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential—is a business imperative. A recent JUST Capital survey showed that 84% of Americans agree that companies “often hide behind public declarations of support for stakeholders but don’t walk the walk.” On top of this, nearly 100 million people in America—one in three—struggle to make ends meet and are locked out of equal opportunities to thrive. This is the everyday reality for over 40 percent of people of color and nearly 25 percent of white people in America. Globally, widening inequality and racial and ethnic discrimination are no less serious – threatening peace, social cohesion, and economic stability.
Businesses of all sizes, in all industries, have an important role to play in the pursuit of equity. To maximize their impact, businesses need a shared language and approach to ensure investments in equity actually translate into equitable outcomes. The Alliance exists to develop resources and support for companies to become champions of racial and economic equity.
“The public is calling for true accountability. Never before has there been so much potential for structural transformation that can finally benefit all people,” said Mahlet Getachew, Managing Director of Corporate Racial Equity for PolicyLink. “A sustainable future demands new business models and ways of operating today that do not perpetuate harm to people of color and low-income communities, no less than demands for preserving and protecting our planet.”
The Alliance’s performance standards framework is a way for companies to walk the walk and builds on the 2021 CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity. The CEO Blueprint offers a path forward for business leaders to realize racial equity beyond diversity and inclusion commitments, enable corporations to better understand their impact on racial equity and develop policies and practices to achieve equitable outcomes. Engaging the public in the development of the corporate standards will ensure that the indicators and performance targets built are comprehensive, actionable, and have the power to lead to the achievement of racial and economic equity.
“In the midst of ever-increasing economic, social, and environmental challenges, a growing chorus of stakeholders across the globe is coalescing around reimagining capitalism to serve all people,” said Ashley Marchand Orme, Director of Corporate Equity for JUST Capital. “Our ongoing polling and research analysis shows that companies are making progress, but need common standards to accelerate action, measurement, and accountability to ensure we’re building a more just and equitable future.”
“Corporations are uniquely positioned to use their resources and business strategies to address the profound social and economic risks presented by inequality. Companies who seek to be leaders for equity are realizing that this requires more than an initiative or set of commitments – it means making equity everyone’s job,” said Kendra Berenson, Associate Director at FSG. “The goal is to make racial and economic equity part of the DNA of each company and that means orienting towards a new set of norms for equitable business.”
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