Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tesla must disclose how diverse its workforce and leadership are

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Tesla is due to release details on its demographics after its shareholders ’decision was approved by a majority at its annual meeting of electric car manufacturers last week.

The decision by Calvert Research & Management to go to the polls on election day comes after Tesla was ordered to pay $ 137 million in damages in a racial violence lawsuit filed by a black former elevator operator at a factory in Fremont, California. ‘year.

Tesla received 57% of the vote, Tesla said Wednesday. The company opposed the measure. Tesla CEO Elon Musk owns 23 percent of Tesla shares, the company said in a power of attorney.

Investors, who see labor diversity as a key factor in long-term success, are encouraging large corporations to be more transparent.

John Wilson, director of corporate relations with Calvert Research & Management, said Tesla’s investor support shows that pressure campaigns are working.

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His firm had made a deeper promise of racial diversity in the wake of the unrest that began in the country after the assassination of George Floyd last year.

“It’s not the main problem anymore. It’s the mainstream,” Wilson said. “We believe, and many believe, that such data will help identify companies that are doing well in the market in the long run. It’s just social justice or something like that. It’s really about making the right investment decision.”

Tesla objected to the shareholders ’decision and said the company had prepared a diversity report that reflected its programs and goals.

“Tesla and the board are proud of the achievements so far,” he told the company’s shareholders.

Tesla has previously reported a diversity of the workforce in the U.S., but 83 percent of company executives are men and 59 percent are white. Tesla also said that by 2020, 79 percent of the workforce, 75 percent of new hires and 77 percent of promotions will be men.

Black and African-American workers accounted for 10 percent of the workforce, but 4 percent of management, 12 percent of new hires, and 10 percent of jobs in 2020. Hispanic and Latin employees accounted for 22 percent of the workforce, 4 percent of management, and 27 percent of new employees. hired and 24% shares.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he visits a construction site near Berlin.

If the shareholders ’decision wins investor support, Tesla will have to prepare an EEO-1 report that distributes the company’s workforce race and gender by job category and is submitted annually to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Report if the company does not disclose it.

“The thing is, institutional investors who are loyal to this company want that information,” Wilson said. “I’m sure as we’ve shown here, there’s real support between the stock base and the people who invest in the company. That’s the real message for me.”

The investigation, which used data from the Census Bureau to analyze the EEO-1 reports of Standard & Poor’s 100 companies, found that racial inequalities persisted in the country’s largest and most powerful companies despite corporate promises after George Floyd’s assassination. remains. , creates drastically different results for people of color, especially women of color.

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According to the investigation, black and Spanish workers are underpaid in the highest paid and most prestigious positions, as well as among professionals such as lawyers and accountants. At the lower levels of organizations, they are concentrated in roles that include administrative assistants, technicians, and workers – and often they are many.

S&P asked each company in the 100 to disclose EEO-1 forms. Many agreed, many of them disclosing the information for the first time.

Tesla is the latest company to be published for data diversity

Tesla did not meet the requirements for the release of EEO-1.

In recent weeks, even more companies have voluntarily added this data to Comcast, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Walmart, AIG and FedEx.

But some of the country’s largest companies are still rejecting Exxon Mobil and T-Mobile requests.

“ExxonMobil is committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce that is broadly representative of the world’s population in which we work,” said Todd Spitler, a company spokesman. “The EEO-1 report is specific to the United States and reflects our global population and efforts. Therefore, we will not disclose the report.”

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T-Mobile has said it will not release EEO-1 reports to the public. The company’s proxy statement includes details about the workforce elsewhere, spokeswoman Lisa Belot said.

Corporations are often reluctant to disclose EEO-1 data for fear of being discredited or risking litigation. They also claim that the data they publish in their annual diversity reports better reflect their workforce than the data collected by the federal government.

Tesla told shareholders that the decision did not show that the disclosure of EEO-1 data would “promote a more diverse workforce or show investors a better understanding of Tesla’s DEI policies and practices.”

There is increasing pressure on corporate America to disclose these personal documents. Investors have made different decisions at many companies, such as IBM and DuPont de Nemours.

IBM has said it will release its EEO-1 report in 2022. DuPont said it will release its EEO-1 report later this month.

“These documents allow investors to have comparable and reliable data that can help us compare other companies and other peers on an apple-by-apple basis,” said Kimverley Stokes, a corporate partnership strategist with Calvert Research & Management. We need to have reliable and repetitive data over the years that can adequately evaluate companies. “

Read a series on corporate diversity here.

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