In recognition of the multibillion-dollar pledges Corporate America made after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, a coalition of civil rights groups announced a new initiative on the state of corporate investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). To accomplish this goal, the National Action Network (NAN), National Urban League (NUL), National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), and National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) will produce a report to track what companies have followed through on their promises and what specific actions they are taking.
A recent McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Stability found that just 40% of 1,369 Fortune 1000 companies (including new and recently removed ones) had made public statements about racial justice between May 2020 through October 2022. Companies have pledged a combined $340 billion toward racial equity over that same period, with many of those commitments coming from the financial sector. Yet it’s become harder to track what specific initiatives, such as housing or small businesses, these pledges are going toward since May 2021.
According to the study, businesses from the financial sector accounted for the majority of pledges. However, three years later, on average, less than 20% of the pledged $340 billion has been deployed to advance racial equity.
In fact, a report published by Revelio Labs earlier this year a decline in diverse hiring. While the global Black Lives Matter movement that followed Floyd’s death prompted a hiring boom for diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals, more than 300 DEI professionals departed companies in the last six months, including Amazon.com Inc., Twitter Inc., and Nike Inc., the report found.
In their letter to corporations, the newly announced coalition requested information on the commitments they made, the monies they pledged and the amount they intend to spend/continue spending on racial equity.