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Article

16 Jun 2020

Author:
Michael Posner, Forbes

Commentary: Business leaders should take further action to address economic inequality for African Americans

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"Why we need more Black voices in the C-Suite," 11 June 2020

[O]ur society has failed to make concomitant progress in promoting economic opportunity for African Americans. In 2016, the net worth of a typical white family was $171,000 – nearly ten times greater than a typical Black family’s net worth of $17,150... Black families also suffer more in economic downturns... In recent days, a growing number of corporate leaders have issued public statements in support of reform. Some of these corporations have also announced charitable contributions to organizations that are on the front lines of the struggle for social and economic justice. Though laudable, these efforts are insufficient. There is still far too little introspection among business leaders about the glaring inequalities in the system they help direct from their positions of power.

... [W]e need more publicly available data on the nature and scope of inequality... Companies need to make public extensive data documenting their progress in promoting greater internal diversity and inclusion at the staff, executive, and board levels... [L]eaders in the investment sector and Fortune 500 companies need to take personal responsibility for changing the status quo... Today there are only four Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies... Just 3.3 percent of executive or senior leadership positions in these companies are held by Black people... All employees and managers should be engaged in solving the inequality problem and promoting social accountability through transparency.

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