The CEOs of JP Morgan, McKinsey, Ford, and 800 other companies signed a letter saying diversity efforts are improving - but 42% of Americans still experience racism at work
Courtesy of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
- Hundreds of American CEOs say they have increased diversity and inclusion efforts over the last year.
- Nearly 800 US CEOs - from firms like JP Morgan, McKinsey, and Ford - said they've prioritized the issue among their board of directors.
- Representation of racial minorities remains weak among chief executives, however, and 42% of American workers say they have experienced racism on the job.
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While many Americans continue to struggle with racism in the workplace, corporate CEOs are upping their commitment to diversity.
Over 800 CEOs signed a letter on Thursday stating their companies have prioritized diversity and inclusion efforts over the last year. The chief executives - from major firms like JP Morgan, McKinsey, and Ford - are part of CEO Action, the largest business-driven coalition to advance diversity and inclusion at work.
About 150 executives joined CEO Action in 2018, when it first launched. The coalition increased its membership to 800 CEOs in 2019, which it attributes to the prioritization of diversity and inclusion at US firms. D&I-related jobs openings increased by 30% in the last year, according to Glassdoor.
Since CEO Action's inception, 91% of corporate executives in the organization say they've increased their accountability on diversity and prioritized the issue with their board of directors. Four million people across the country have taken the group-sponsored Check Your Blindspot unconscious bias training over the last year.
Despite the positive efforts to improve diversity and inclusion by high-profile executives, research says underrepresented workers still feel isolated at work.
Glassdoor found that about 3 in 5 of US workers experienced discrimination based on their age, race, gender or LGBTQ identity, and 42% of American workers said they have experienced or seen racism specifically. Representation for minority groups at the C-Suite level or higher is also low, as just 5 of Fortune 500 CEOs are black - a figure that's barely budged since 2004.
Diversity and inclusion efforts matter when it comes to recruiting talent in communities of color. Over half of black and Hispanic workers considered diversity and inclusion programs at prospective employers before accepting a job, compared to just 27% of white employees, the AP found.
"There's a very real expectation and need for chief executives to prioritize diversity and inclusion," Tim Ryan, US chairman at PwC and leader of CEO Action, said at a closed-door meeting on Thursday. "With CEOs and board chairs coming together to have the tough conversations, admit where we can do better and share where we've seen success, I hope this signals to stakeholders that business leaders are proactively tackling this incredibly challenging and critically important issue."
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