How Corporate America Is Waking up to Racial Equity

Jun 18, 2021 10:00 AM ET
Image credit: Getty Images

Audio File

Originally published by ESG Insider

On June 17, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

In this episode, we’re looking at how corporate America is changing its approach to diversity — and race in particular.

June 19th, or Juneteenth, marks the official end of slavery in the U.S. in 1865. But the ugly systemic racism that slavery was built on endures. In 2020, the murder of George Floyd put that racism front and center for the world. And in response, many companies begin publicly addressing race and inequality.

One way that change has manifested itself is recognition of Juneteenth. In 2020, many companies started observing the holiday — including our own parent company, S&P Global. We spoke to Tamara Vasquez, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at S&P Global, about the company’s decision to observe Juneteenth and her experience of the growing intersection of business and diversity.

And we speak to Rodney Sampson, professor, angel investor and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Rodney is also Executive Chairman and CEO of Opportunity Hub, a platform he co-founded to build inclusive ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.

“We have a theory that until there's capital at stake, whether it's investment capital or revenue, companies aren't really going to double click and actually become transformative in their investment as it relates to their racial equity or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” Rodney says.

Further reading from S&P Global: How The Advancement Of Black Women Will Build A Better Economy For All