Investor interest in this information lines up with their focus on social and governance issues and the desire to have racial diversity data that can be compared against other companies. That data can also be used to hold employers to account for their promises to push for equality.
In the U.S., companies with more than 100 employees already are required to collect racial and gender data via an EEO-1 form. But the data is confidential and companies are not mandated to publicly discuss it, with some employers contending the data is not necessarily an accurate reflection of their business operations.
Research firm Just Capital notes that only 32 companies in the Russell 1000 release the data publicly. “The EEO-1 is not the holy grail, but it’s an excellent starting point,” says John Streur, chief executive of Calvert Research and Management. His firm has pushed for public disclosure of the data.
Robyn Tice, spokeswoman for Eaton Vance, the parent of Calvert, says “We have not historically published the EEO-1 forms, but we are reviewing that approach.”