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A coalition of financial institutions, which banded together in 2020 in an effort to combat corporate inequities brought on by systemic racism, announced that it has launched four new pillars of commitments to bolster its efforts.
The Corporate Call to Action: Coalition for Equity & Opportunity (CCA) pillars were announced in May and are an ambitious start to triggering industry-wide change. The four pillars are:
- Diversify Suppliers and Business Partners. All financial institutions within the coalition will add to a coalition-wide $10 billion investment to increase spending with businesses owned by people of color (with a special focus on Black-owned businesses).
- Invest in Underserved Communities. CCA plans to either start or support programs that support the underserved communities of color in an effort to create new economic opportunities, improve equity and support economic security. CCA aims to “launch topic-focused initiatives, aligned to each member company’s priorities and expertise, aimed at addressing key racial wealth gaps faced by communities of color.”
- Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline. CCA plans to provide mid-career level employees with training to develop the skills needed for growth to senior-level jobs in financial services, as well as provide more than 10,000 Black and Latino students with internships and other forms of professional development programs.
- Improve Workforce Equity and Transparency. CCA publicly committed to releasing workforce demographic data — more simply known as “EEO-1 data”— in February. EEO-1 data shows the racial and gender composition of a company’s workforce. Before now, EEO-1 data has only been released to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Releasing this data publicly means business owners, investors, and consumers will be able to see the demographic makeup of the companies they are buying from or working with. CCA stated in their four pillars that they intend to create a system to increase “recruiting, promotion, and retention of underrepresented groups and ensure pay fairness and inclusion.”
“Our ambition is for the coalition to serve as a catalyst in building enduring industry-wide standards, best practices and measurements for equity and inclusion,” said Roy Swan, head of mission investments at the Ford Foundation. “Coalition members are currently convening in working groups now through July to collaborate on implementation plans for the commitments announced, including how progress will be tracked.”
CCA was launched in September 2020 by the Connecticut Office of the Treasurer and the Ford Foundation and is made up of 18 different financial institutions: Aberdeen Standard Investments; AllianceBernstein L.P.; Bank of America; BlackRock; Bridgewater Associates; Citi; Franklin Templeton; Goldman Sachs; Invesco Ltd.; Morgan Stanley; Schroders; State Street Global Advisors; TIAA; The Hartford; T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.; UBS; Vista Equity Partners; and Wellington Management.
The coalition’s primary goal is to create a more equitable corporate future for people of color and to provide a direct response to inequities brought on by systemic racism, as well as measurable results brought about by the changes and commitments made by the coalition.
“CCA was established as a way to leverage the power of the financial services industry to make meaningful change toward racial equity in America,” said Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden. He added that the steps taken by the coalition are “tangible and quantifiable steps toward an economic landscape that is more equitable, more diverse, and more inclusive for people of color.”
The coalition hopes not only to bring change to economic inequity, but to lead the charge for other businesses to do the same.
"In this moment of reckoning, business leaders have a chance to take clear, courageous and collaborative action to advance racial equity and improve the lives of communities of color nationwide," said president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker. “It is encouraging to see CCA members forging commitments that can lead the way for the financial industry. I look forward to witnessing how these commitments translate into growth, justice, and necessary change.”
About the Author
Kayley Ocker is a writing and editing intern for WorldatWork.