Bank of America, NVIDIA, Microsoft topped nonprofit Just Capital’s annual “Just 100” list of companies whose values, based on its research data, align with most Americans on average. The other top 10 awardees for 2023 are Accenture, Truist and Verizon, HP, Apple, Intel and JPMorgan Chase.
Similar to the Human Rights Campaign and its Corporate Equality Index, Just Capital ranks corporations on their social impact; the company has released corporate social responsibility rankings in some form since 2016, when it teamed up with Forbes to publish its research.
To get on the list, Russell 1000 companies must score well on what Just Capital deems “core” U.S. business issues, derived from a survey of Americans told to compare business issues by priority. In its 2022 report, respondents named fair livable wages, worker health, L&D opportunities and employer support of work-life balance as key HR concerns.
Regarding Bank of America’s talent strategy, John Yiannacopoulos, the bank’s spokesperson on environmental and social governance, told HR Dive that company leadership sees employees as their “number one priority.”
“We focus every day on being a great place to work. We drive that work by being an inclusive workplace for all teammates around the world, recognizing and rewarding performance, creating opportunities for our teammates to develop and grow, and supporting teammates’ financial, physical and emotional wellness,” Yiannacopoulos said via email.
A NVIDIA spokesperson explained that diversity — and support for diverse talent — are what makes the company a socially responsible place to work. “We take care of their and their family’s needs by providing benefits, programs and resources that look after their physical, mental, and financial well-being. We ensure strong pay and for the past several years have achieved pay parity — defined as no statistically significant differences in compensation based on gender, race, or ethnicity,” they told HR Dive over email.
The spokesperson also highlighted employee resource groups for veteran, neurodiverse, Black and LGBTQ talent at NVIDIA, along with working parents and caregivers. They added that “open channels” for employee feedback, a business focused on climate science and volunteering opportunities for workers also contribute to a socially responsible workplace at NVIDIA.
A spokesperson for Microsoft pointed HR Dive to Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility resources, which detail the tech company’s commitment to DEI, workplace safety and L&D. The company made headlines when it announced it in June 2022 would take an “open and constructive” view toward unions. In December, gaming workers formed Microsoft's first-ever U.S. union.
Truist Director of Public Affairs Kyle Tarrance passed along excitement for receiving recognition on Just Capital’s list. “Fulfilling our purpose starts at home, and we’re proud of the focus we place on our teammates, including our unwavering commitment to DEI and offering an industry-leading minimum wage, benefits and total rewards program,” Tarrance said via email.
Andrew Eble, an employee communications manager at Verizon, also pointed to his company’s ESG report; he highlighted parent leave for birthing and non-birthing parents, a financial wellness initiative with Just Capital, and upskilling and reskilling opportunities, including tuition assistance. Regarding Verizon’s fair pay, Eble also noted “100% pay equity in salary for women and men,” and in the U.S., “100% pay equity in salary with respect to race or ethnicity.”
And lastly a spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase told HR Dive via email that the company aims to foster a diverse and inclusive culture for its employees. “That work has been longstanding and is ongoing,” Allison Kahn, a managing director and JPMorgan’s head of diversity, equity and inclusion communications, told HR Dive via email.
Along with business resource groups and racial equity commitment, Kahn cited JPMorgan’s “culture of respect” and management accountability as key reasons the company landed on the list. The finance company is “focused on creating an environment where employees can feel they belong, develop a sense of community and discover their intersectionality among diverse groups.”
Just Capital CEO Martin Whittaker expressed his belief that all Americans — “liberal, conservative, high-income, low-income, men, women, millennials, and boomers,” he wrote via email — want companies to center workers’ needs when running businesses. Notably, the 2023 list is the first year that a tech or software company has not ranked as the number one “most just” company.
“Banks and financials have all done better [in 2022] because of the investment they’ve made in workers, especially in transparency over wage data and pay equity, and the jobs they’ve created,” Whittaker said, nodding to moves such as Bank of America raising its minimum wage last year to $22 an hour.
Tech companies still have a strong presence throughout the top 10, along with the list as whole — which is poignant given the ongoing news regarding 2023 tech layoffs.
“We’re actually seeing many companies do more to retain workers and avoid mass layoffs in the traditional way. For instance, Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan said back in December that he doesn’t see the need for layoffs and plans to reduce the bank’s headcount by letting natural attrition do most of the work. That said, layoffs and downsizing are inevitable in any free market economy, and the public understands that,” Whittaker said. “But what they want to see is a more just approach that respects workers even in the face of job losses.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, the quote from a NVIDIA spokesperson was misattributed.