Companies in the United States have stepped up measures to combat racism since the death on May 25, 2020 of George Floyd during his arrest by the police in Minneapolis. Promise to recruit African Americans; use of suppliers from minorities; establishment of June 19, the day of the emancipation of the last American slaves, as a holiday …: the list is growing day by day.
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In a Morning Consult survey of 11,000 people, more than two-thirds indicate that a CEO’s reaction to the Black Lives Matter, the movement against racism and police violence, will have a profound effect “Permanent »Their decision to consume his company’s products or services.
Sharon Chuter asks big companies to publish the share of their black employees in management positions. Afro-American, she founded her make-up brand Uoma, after having worked for L’Oréal and LVMH. With 120,000 followers on the Instagram social network, his Pull Up For Change project managed to obtain statistics from 200 companies, including Estée Lauder, Levi’s, L’Oréal and Facebook.
“Consumers have the power to empower businesses”
Even if the number of blacks in management positions is often less than 10%, Sharon Chuter thanks the brands for their transparency as soon as they share their figures. In six months, she intends to take stock of their progress. “Only transparency and accountability can produce change, she says. Consumers have the power to empower businesses. “
They are only five of the 500 largest American companies to be run by African Americans, “While they represent 13.4% of the population of the United States”, notes the magazine Fortune, which specifies that there have only been 18 black CEOs since the launch of its “Fortune 500” list in 1999. The situation is explained by the persistence of discrimination in promotions of black employees in sectors dominated by white leaders, like tech, beauty or finance.
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Eyes also turn to boards of directors. According to the reference site Black Enterprise, 37% of the S&P 500 companies had no black members among their directors in 2019.
This reality prompted Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and husband of tennis player Serena Williams, to resign in early June from the board of directors of the aggregation platform. He was replaced by African American Michael Seibel, CEO of the Y Combinator accelerator. Alexis Ohanian justified himself: “I should be able to give my black daughter an answer when she asks me, ‘What did you do?’ “