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Since World War II, average life expectancy across the globe has risen by 30 years. Meanwhile, access to healthcare and education has lifted billions out of poverty. But wealth inequality within many nations has soared, social mobility reversed, and cohesion undermined. Now there are fears new technology will make things worse. How do we reshape economies so that growth benefits the many and not just the few and so ensure that the extraordinary engine of human development we built is made sustainable?

Partnering for Racial Justice in Business: what are business leaders saying?

48 organizations representing 13 industries, with more than 5.5 million employees worldwide and with headquarters in three continents have committed to building more equitable and just workplaces.

The World Economic Forum has today launched the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative, which will see a coalition of organizations commit to building equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities.

The Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative has been designed to operationalize and coordinate commitments to eradicate racism in the workplace and set new global standards for racial equity in business. It also provides a platform for businesses to collectively advocate for inclusive policy change.

Here's what the founding members are saying

The initiative directly aligns with our longstanding work to advance racial equality and economic opportunity... through... reskilling and job training

—Brian Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America

"Across our company, we are committed to creating opportunities for ALL people, and in particular for those who often face barriers to employment. We are pleased to join the World Economic Forum’s Partnership for Racial Justice in Business. The initiative directly aligns with our longstanding work to advance racial equality and economic opportunity for people and communities of colour through initiatives including reskilling and job training."

Helping to build a better, fairer society, starting within our own organization

—Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, BlackRock Inc.

"BlackRock is committed to helping build a better, fairer society, starting within our own organization. We believe that a strong culture, in which inclusion and belonging are paramount, creates room for all employees to drive our purpose of helping more and more people experience financial wellbeing. As a founding member of the Forum's Racial Justice in Business Initiative, we are building on our commitment to cultivate and advance diversity and inclusion of all forms."

Reflect and face the truth that our resources and efforts have not really impacted everyone equally

—Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP

"As business leaders, we must reflect and face the truth that our resources and efforts have not really impacted everyone equally. To create truly inclusive workplaces, we must be more intentional and take a holistic approach to diversity and inclusion across all dimensions. At Bloomberg, we remain committed to equality in the workplace and greater representation across our workforce. We’ve demonstrated our firm commitment toward racial and ethnic justice by putting in place targeted, company-wide initiatives to accelerate the careers and leadership potential of high-performing employees from underrepresented groups."

Total Societal Impact (TSI) stands alongside Total Shareholder Return (TSR) as a driver of corporate strategy

—Rich Lesser, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Consulting Group

"BCG has developed Total Societal Impact (TSI) as a measure of an organization’s economic, social, and environmental effects on the world. TSI stands alongside Total Shareholder Return (TSR) as a driver of corporate strategy. We work with the world’s largest organizations and governments to ensure that racial equity is fully considered, measured, and advanced by this lens. Achieving sustainable impact requires a holistic approach that addresses business drivers, social and systemic change, and team and cultural factors."

Our culture is rooted in equity and rewards based on merit

—David McCormick, Chief Executive Officer, Bridgewater Associates LP

"The time has come for corporate leaders to step up — it is long overdue. Bridgewater’s culture is rooted in equity and rewards based on merit. There’s a natural alignment between our way of being and the goals of the Partnership for Racial Justice in Business. We don’t claim to have all the answers on the biggest societal questions. But as a founding member of the Partnership, we are committed to ongoing improvement at our own company, and to collective action that creates more equitable workplaces across the world."

Everyone deserves access to high-quality healthcare with dignity

—Michael Neidorff, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Centene Corporation

"Centene was built on a steadfast set of values, including the belief that everyone deserves access to high-quality healthcare with dignity. Our purpose of improving the health of the communities we serve could not be brought to life without the dedication of our diverse and inclusive workforce. Recognizing the crucial need for a national dialogue around human dignity, civil rights, and racial justice, and our responsibility to serve as a strong and active partner in that conversation, we are pleased to be a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative.”

A more inclusive future for all

—Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer, Cisco Systems Inc.

"At Cisco, our mission is to create a more inclusive future for all. We’re excited to be a part of this initiative and look forward to joining forces with The World Economic Forum and partnering organizations to help make our world more just, equitable, and inclusive."

Standing for the humanity and dignity of all people

—Brian Humphries, Chief Executive Officer, Cognizant Technology Solutions US Corp.

“CEOs must stand up for their beliefs and use their considerable influence to promote racial and ethnic justice—not only in the workplace but everywhere. As a Fortune 200 CEO who stands for the humanity and dignity of all people, I’m proud that Cognizant is a founding member of WEF’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative.”

Every person deserves the right to be treated equally, with dignity... we cannot be fully inclusive until we are anti-racist

—Wendy Clark, Global CEO at Dentsu International

“At Dentsu we believe every person deserves the right to be treated equally, with dignity, and that we cannot be fully inclusive until we are anti-racist. We are committed to dismantling racism in the workplace and to being a catalyst for change in our industry and society by partnering with our clients, industry networks and major advocacy organizations like The Forum to ensure we create sustained social justice change and reform beyond this catalytic moment.”

Dialogue, debate and sharing of experiences are invaluable ingredients in solving racial inequality

—Christiana Riley, Member of the Management Board and CEO Americas, Deutsche Bank AG

“Dialogue, debate and sharing of experiences are invaluable ingredients in solving racial inequality. All segments of society have a responsibility to address these challenges and Deutsche Bank is committed to doing our part to foster a more just and equitable future in our work around the globe.”

We stand against systemic inequities, discrimination, and racism

—Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, EY

“A commitment to inclusiveness and social equity is crucial during changing and disruptive times. At EY, we strive to build a better, more equitable, working world in which differences are valued and everyone can thrive. Together with the other founding members of the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative, we stand against systemic inequities, discrimination, and racism, and stand for building a better working world.”

We are committed to advancing equity and racial justice... working with leading peer companies to make tangible progress

—Maxine Williams, Global Chief Diversity Officer, Facebook Inc.

“At Facebook, we are committed to advancing equity and racial justice. We are investing in the Black community, elevating Black voices, directly funding racial justice organizations, and building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. We are also taking steps to ensure diversity, inclusion, and transparency in our policy development process. Our participation in the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative is part of our effort to do more – working with leading peer companies to make tangible progress.”

Turn this moment of reckoning on racial equity into sustained, meaningful change

—Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer, Google and Alphabet, Google Inc.

“Google is proud to join as a founding member of the World Economic Forum Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative. Diversity, equity and inclusion have always been core values for us as a company, but we know there’s more we must do to live up to those values. That’s why last year we made a set of commitments to help fight systemic racism and advance racial equity inside and outside of our walls. We look forward to working with other members of this partnership to turn this moment of reckoning on racial equity into sustained, meaningful change for underrepresented communities around the world.”

We are witness to the disparities in healthcare caused by racial inequity and we are committed to doing our part

—Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Henry Schein Inc.

"Henry Schein is pleased to join the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business Initiative. As the world’s largest healthcare solutions provider to office-based dental and medical practitioners, we are witness to the disparities in healthcare caused by racial inequity, and we are committed to doing our part to end the scourge of racism anywhere it exists.”

We are committed to create a fair and equal workplace, for everyone no matter ethnicity, race or nationality

—Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group (IKEA)

“At IKEA, we side with the many, and we believe that a better everyday is also an equal everyday. We are committed to create a fair and equal workplace, for everyone no matter ethnicity, race or nationality. We see three main reasons; It is about fairness, it’s about reflecting the diversity of our customer base to meet the dreams and needs of our customers in better ways. And finally, it opens up for more and new opportunities to attract and recruit the best talents. By working together with WEF and other businesses we hope to accelerate the pace and scale of change to create more fair and just workplaces and society.”

Unleashing opportunity for all our staff, with specific emphasis on our black employees

—Steve Demetriou, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc

“2020 was a year when Jacobs’ commitment to standing against injustice was galvanized like never before as we focused on unleashing opportunity for all our staff, with specific emphasis on our black employees. Jacobs is excited to see the Forum join us in our efforts to increase the representation of racially and ethnically diverse leaders in our industry – and through their partnership, help lead the charge against the racism and inequity that exists in the wider communities that we serve.”

Making a meaningful difference through science, business, public health, and philanthropy... to address social and racial inequities

—Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson

“There is an urgent need to take on the inequities rooted in systemic racism that impact diverse communities. As the largest and most broadly-based healthcare company in the world, we are uniquely positioned to make a meaningful difference through science, business, public health, and philanthropy. We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the World Economic Forum to address social and racial inequities, and drive systemic reform on a global scale.”

Do more to change the foundational systems that interfere with achieving equity

—Greg A. Adams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Permanente

“This initiative is an important step in helping accountable business leaders do more to change the foundational systems that interfere with achieving equity. Kaiser Permanente is taking bold actions within our organization to evolve and advance our equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, and we look forward to being part of this coalition both to help its work and learn from others.”

More than personal commitment to change and a decisive shift from intent to action

—Alex Liu, Chief Executive Officer, Kearney Inc.

“Racial injustice isn’t a U.S. problem; it’s a human problem. Fighting it requires more than personal commitment to change and a decisive shift from intent to action. Business leaders must be authentically-engaged stewards to drive progress for the next generation, to deliver fundamental outcomes of belonging and workplace joy and justice. We must be actively anti-racist, in any form, whether micro-aggressions, discrimination, segregation, conscious bias or blind spots. While all people want to be safe, and to be seen and to be supported, we need to go even further and actually inspire. Lead by example and tenacity. Kearney is all-in committed to partnering for racial justice in business.”

Companies must play a leading role in building a more equitable future for all

—Rosanna Durruthy, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, LinkedIn Corporation

“The new global standards established by Partnering for Racial Justice in Business comes at a time of heightened global focus on racial injustice, underscored by a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black and Latino communities in the United States, along with other marginalized communities worldwide. We believe companies - critical enablers of wealth creation and professional mobility - must play a leading role in building a more equitable future for all. And as an organization that exists to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce, we are honored to join this initiative."

Learning from our partners to drive meaningful change in our business.

—Rachel Osikoya Head of Diversity and Inclusion A.P. Møller Maersk

"Maersk is proud to be a member of Partnering for Racial Justice in Business. Racial inequity and injustice impacts on the communities we serve and on our employees. We are early in our journey compared to others and therefore deeply value the opportunity to learn from our partners and to drive meaningful change in our own business.”

Ensuring decency, wellbeing and inclusion are part of everything we do

—Michael Miebach, Chief Executive Officer, Mastercard

“In order to have an economy that works for everyone, we all have an obligation to address the inequalities that have existed for too long; that includes systemic racism. At Mastercard, we believe that our success comes by ensuring decency, wellbeing and inclusion are part of everything we do. Bringing together groups like this creates the potential for greater impact, accelerating our ability to learn from one another and deliver action at scale.”

Racial and ethnic diversity can give companies a performance edge

—Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

“Over a decade of research tells us that racial and ethnic diversity can give companies a performance edge. McKinsey is proud to be a founding member of this new coalition that is working to tackle issues of racial injustice in the workplace and identify solutions that work across the globe."

As leaders, we are often in positions of power and privilege - meaning we are also often in a position to drive forward meaningful change

—Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer, Microsoft

“As leaders, we are often in positions of power and privilege—meaning we are also often in a position to drive forward meaningful change within and beyond our organizations. The new global standards established by Partnering for Racial Justice in Business are a step toward increased accountability, transparency, and intentional action for addressing racial injustice with an acute awareness of the global Black experience. Microsoft is on its own D&I journey, and we have much to learn, but we are honored to join this initiative and to reaffirm and deepen our commitments."

A diverse and inclusive culture is the foundation of our strength

—Béatrice Guillaume-Grabisch, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Human Resources & Global Business Services, Nestlé

“At Nestlé, a diverse and inclusive culture is the foundation of our strength. By joining the WEF coalition for racial justice in business initiative we aim to use our voice to drive for changes that root out institutional racism in society. We also want to learn from our partners and continue challenging ourselves to do better.”

Committed to being agents of positive, structural change... in the fight against systemic racism and inequality

—Ramon Laguarta, CEO, PepsiCo

“The journey for racial equality has long been part of PepsiCo’s DNA. Whilst there are areas we have made good progress, we know we have a lot of work to do in the fight against systemic racism and inequality, and we are committed to being agents of positive, structural change in our workplace and the world.”

We aspire to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion is achievable for all people

—Shelly McNamara, Chief Equality & Inclusion Officer, Procter & Gamble

“At P&G, we aspire to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion is achievable for all people. For us, this starts with ensuring equitable and inclusive workplaces, and drives the actions we take with our brands and business partners and throughout communities around the world. The Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative will help foster cross-sector collaboration towards this aspiration and enable P&G and many companies to accelerate progress faster than any of us could do alone, and we’re proud to lend our support.”

While we can't control what happens in the world, we can - and should - always strive to influence and change it for the better

—Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC

"While we can't control what happens in the world, we can - and should - always strive to influence and change it for the better. That is the underlying premise of our purpose, and within PwC and the communities in which we live and work, we are committed to fostering an environment that stands for inclusion and equality, and that allows people of all backgrounds to thrive and succeed."

We stand against racism, violence, and hate — and for justice and equality

—Tony Prophet, Chief Equality and Recruiting Officer, Salesforce

"At Salesforce, we stand with the Black community against racism, violence, and hate — and for justice and equality. We look forward to partnering with leaders across the world to urgently advance racial equality and drive meaningful change."

We will only have done our jobs if we create opportunities for social justice to prevail

—Judith Williams, Head of People Sustainability and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, SAP SE

“As a global organization that runs with purpose, we will only have done our jobs if we create opportunities for every employee to flourish and for social justice to prevail. We must understand the role we play, the things we can do better, and the actions we can take to ensure equality for all. Let our work together be a shining example of the change we are advocating."

Proud of our unique diversity and the many benefits it unlocks for colleagues, clients and communities

—Bill Winters, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank

"At Standard Chartered we are proud of our unique diversity and the many benefits it unlocks for our colleagues, clients and communities. This is why we’ve joined the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative - to bring together like-minded organizations and provide inclusive and fair workplaces for under-represented groups.”

Move forward with courage, empathy and an open mindset

—Dr. Ritu Anand, Chief Leadership & Diversity Officer, Tata Consultancy Services

“As business leaders we have a critical role to play in ensuring that the world we will build is more inclusive, fair and just. Tata Consultancy Services has put in place significant initiatives on the diversity and inclusion front, to play our part in achieving this. We are pleased to join the Forum's new eco-system of like minded progressive partners to ensure racial justice is served in the time to come. We must move forward with courage, empathy and an open mindset. We must move forward together.”

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is both the right thing to do and an important business priority

—James Quincey, Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company

“Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is both the right thing to do and an important business priority – diversity fosters creativity, innovation and connection to the markets that we serve. The Coca-Cola Company is proud to join the ‘Partnering for Racial Justice in Business’ initiative, which seeks to create positive change in the workplace and make a difference in the world.”

We will not tolerate racism and racial injustice in any form or at any time

—Michael Bodson, President & CEO, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC)

“DTCC is proud to be a founding member of the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative. Racism and racial injustice are critical issues that continue to impact societies around the world, and it is time that we – as a collective business community – strengthen our efforts to drive real change and deliver a message that we will not tolerate it in any form or at any time. We need to create an environment where all employees feel they are treated fairly and equitably and can do their best work, so that organizations can deliver maximum value to clients.”

Ensuring everyone can move freely and safely, whether physically, economically or socially

—Dara Khosrowshahi Chief Executive Officer, Uber Technologies Inc.

“The world is at an important point of reckoning to address racial equity and representation. As a company that powers movement, it’s our goal to ensure everyone can move freely and safely, whether physically, economically or socially. We’re excited about partnering with the WEF to continue our work to fight racism and be a champion for equity in the workplace, and beyond.”

A diverse and inclusive organization... requires leaders to commit to dismantling barriers to an equitable culture

—Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

“Creating a diverse and inclusive organization requires intentional advocacy to combat racism and elimination of unconscious bias. It requires leaders to commit to dismantling barriers to an equitable culture. The Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative aims to set new industry standards and drive action to achieve racial equity. Unilever is proud to join this group of industry leaders to help us deliver our social commitments to drive equity, diversity and inclusion in our own workplace, across our value chain and into wider society.”

Find out more at the following sessions at The Davos Agenda: