- The 2021 Fortune 500 list will include self-reported diversity and inclusion data by which companies can be sorted and ranked, the publication announced Oct. 26.
- The move comes as part of a broader initiative in which Fortune said it is aiming to "make corporate diversity disclosure the new standard of doing business." The publication, along with financial software and risk solution company Refinitiv, said it will help initiative participants set goals, share strategies and work to deliver measurable returns.
- "The corporate world desperately needs public disclosure of such measurements, which will help companies set benchmarks, encourage high-performing companies to reach higher, and prompt companies lagging in these areas to step up," according to the announcement.
Fortune’s announcement follows an increase in employers self-reporting on D&I progress. PwC and Glassdoor, for example, released workforce D&I reports for the first time this year. And others, like the Washington Post, have promised to do so in the near future.
Generally, such reports conclude that more progress is desired, as Fortune noted. Some have included concrete promises. Target said in September it will aim to increase the representation of Black employees in its workforce by 20% over three years; PepsiCo said it plans to increase Black representation in U.S. managerial roles by 30% and Hispanic representation by 10% by 2025.
Despite company leaders often deeming D&I important, the topic "consistently failed to make the list of business priorities" at many top firms, recent Forrester research found. Often, such goals are subject to limited budgets and lack of ownership, according to the September report.
Some, like consulting firm Mercer, have suggested that employers tie D&I goals to executive compensation. Employers with such targets should devise a timeline for progress, create an environment that supports change, devise metrics, implement an incentive plan and establish who will be held accountable, the firm recommended in a September report. Both Starbucks and Wells Fargo this year became some of the latest employers to tie executive compensation to D&I metrics.