Posted on July 1, 2022

U.S. Companies Promised More Racial Diversity and Equity in the Workplace. How Are They Doing Now?

Ashley Marchand Orme, Market Watch, June 22, 2022

Two years since Corporate America’s $50 billion promise to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the question on many people’s minds is whether companies have actually made progress toward their commitments. Have we seen noteworthy changes demonstrating impact?

Americans are looking for action. New survey research by JUST Capital and SSRS shows that 92% of Americans believe it is important for companies to promote racial diversity and equity in the workplace. And 68% say companies have more work to do to achieve racial equity in the workplace — up by 4 percentage points from 2021.

There is, unfortunately, no sign of a significant sea change among U.S. companies. A series of promises to advance racial equity has yielded only patchwork progress. {snip}

At JUST Capital, we’ve been assessing where progress is being made and where companies are falling short. We recently released an updated version of our Corporate Racial Equity Tracker, which was inaugurated in 2021.

The Tracker looks at the 100-largest U.S. employers’ disclosures and other publicly available indicators of racial equity across six dimensions: anti-discrimination policies; racial/ethnic diversity data; pay equity; response to mass incarceration; education and training programs, and community investment.

Areas seeing the greatest improvement are those where the investor community was most vocal, advocating for increased transparency and disclosure around racial and ethnic workforce diversity demographics, board diversity, and pay equity.

A total of 91% of companies reported workforce diversity data, according to our 2022 analysis. But a more significant sign of progress was that 55% of the 100 companies analyzed this year disclosed the gold-standard EEO-1 Report or intersectional workforce diversity data. That’s up from 20% from the prior year, representing a 175% increase in disclosure rate. A total of 95% of companies reported board diversity data disclosure by race and ethnicity in this year’s analysis.

Our 2022 Tracker also found a 33% jump in pay equity analysis disclosure, with close to half (45%) of companies reporting conducting the analysis. {snip}


Our 2022 Tracker finds companies are lagging in disclosing how they’re investing in their communities and responding to mass incarceration. Only 11% of companies publicly report re-entry or second-chance policies that help hire formerly incarcerated workers. And while 42% disclose a supplier diversity spend amount, only 9% disclose a local supplier/small business spend amount.