Last week, Liz blogged about the possibility that this coming proxy season could see an increase in shareholder proposals for racial equity audits. She noted:
These proposals typically ask companies to conduct and publish a third-party review of the racial impact of their policies, practices, products and services… well-known shareholder activism firm Olshan predicts that shareholder and stakeholder interest in racial equity initiatives will continue to grow. It suggests that companies conduct take a look at their equity & inclusion practices and policies in order to self-identify areas in need of improvement. (This vulnerability assessment would probably best be done with the help of an employment lawyer and with attorney-client privilege.)
While this wasn’t specifically discussed during CCRCorp’s Proxy Disclosure Conference Wednesday and Thursday, a couple speakers did mention that quantitative disclosures on employee demographics could be quite valuable, especially in the context of executive compensation. That kind of metric lends itself to an audit.
Whether we see specific proposals for racial equity audits for disclosure, or a push for them indirectly to support compensation metrics – I think Liz is right.