Half of Fortune 100 companies highlighted commitments and efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. Key themes of these disclosures included initiatives to empower women and minorities and bring them into leadership positions, diversity statistics and recruitment goals around diverse talent, employee affinity groups, supplier diversity initiatives, collaborations with diversity organizations, and external rewards and recognition.
- Just under a third of the companies that discussed workforce diversity provided some measure of workforce diversity data (e.g., percentage of women and/or people of color across the global or US workforce, at the management level, in leadership positions or across incoming hires).
Around a third of companies highlighted key practices or developments related to compensation of the broader workforce. Most of these companies highlighted pay equity, including efforts to identify and eliminate pay gaps for women and minorities. Other key themes of these disclosures were minimum wage increases and general statements around the company’s compensation approach.
- Around 40% of the companies that discussed workforce compensation disclosed specific performance data around pay equity beyond the required CEO pay ratio. That information generally included the pay ratio for female to male employees, the pay ratio for minority to nonminority employees and in some cases a measure of the adjustments made to help close the gap. A quarter of the companies reported a specific new minimum or starting wage (usually $15 per hour but in some cases $11 per hour).
Twenty-two percent of companies mentioned some of the ways they are embedding or measuring culture beyond compliance with codes of conduct or executive pay considerations. Some of the practices highlighted include employee surveys and benchmarking reports, employee town halls, unconscious bias trainings, leadership team events, and the inclusion of culture-related messaging and feedback via onboarding processes, performance reviews and exit surveys.
- Half of the companies that discussed culture initiatives said that they use employee surveys to measure culture. Some of the other KPIs mentioned included diversity hires, employee engagement, turnover and issues escalation resolution. With limited exceptions, the companies did not provide quantitative results for their disclosed KPIs.
Workforce health and safety
Twenty-two percent of companies discussed commitments, initiatives or benefit programs related to workforce health and safety. These disclosures included topics such as employee health and wellness resources and benefits, and, in some cases, safety metrics for the company and its suppliers.
- Less than half of the companies that discussed workforce health and safety disclosed any related KPIs. Among those that did, the most common were recordable injury rates and the number of employees participating in certain health and wellness programs. However, only a handful of companies provided quantitative results for their disclosed KPIs.
Workforce skills and capabilities
Twenty-two percent of companies mentioned initiatives related to employee re‑skilling, training, and leadership development programs and related resources. The level of detail provided around these programs varied.
- Half of the companies that discussed workforce skills and capabilities provided at least one related quantified KPI measure. This information generally included the aggregate amount of money or employee hours invested in training programs, or the number of employees participating in internal training or career planning programs.
A handful of companies provided observations regarding the stability of their workforce.
- Most of these companies noted employee engagement scores and certain turnover rates (e.g., turnover rate for high‑performing personnel) as KPIs; few provided quantified results for their KPIs.
Disclosures relating to board oversight of human capital and culture
We found that most companies do not specify how the board and its committees allocate oversight of various dimensions of human capital or culture. Just over 40% of the Fortune 100 broadly stated that the board oversees human capital management or culture, but it was not always clear what specific topics (e.g., workforce diversity, learning and development, or recruitment and turnover) are encompassed by that oversight. At most companies, we found human capital and culture-related oversight responsibilities assigned to various committees based on their respective areas of focus (e.g., the audit committee often oversees compliance with employee codes of conduct while the compensation committee may oversee pay equity), but it was unclear whether these responsibilities reflect the complete picture of the board’s oversight in this space.
Overall, we found that proxy disclosures would benefit from more specificity around what dimensions of human capital management and culture are overseen by the board and how the board is executing that oversight.
Many boards seek directors with human capital-related expertise
Nearly a third of companies included human capital-related experience among the skills and areas of expertise sought at the board level. In describing this desired expertise, these companies used phrases and terms such as human capital management experience, talent or workforce management or development, or experience in building values-based ethics and compliance programs.
More companies (44%) cited human capital-related experience in at least one director biography in describing the key reasons that person is qualified to serve on the board. The backgrounds of these directors vary. Some disclosures point to a candidate’s recognized leadership in diversity and inclusion, experience in shaping culture initiatives or background in human resources. Others cite human capital and culture experience related to executive leadership, scaling businesses, mergers and acquisitions, and service on other boards, among other factors.