September 26, 2017 // Boston, MA – Trillium Asset Management is pleased to announce that we have successfully withdrawn our workforce diversity shareholder proposal at Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) following the company’s expanded disclosure around workplace diversity.
Trillium’s shareholder proposal requested that the company prepare a report adequate for investors to assess Aflac’s strategy and performance pertaining to workforce diversity, including a chart identifying employees according to gender and race in the major Equal Employment Opportunity Commission-defined job categories. A McKinsey & Company report found companies with highly diverse executive teams had higher returns on equity and earnings performance than those with low diversity.
Prior to our engagement, Aflac, like many of its peers, stated a strong commitment to fostering a diverse workplace and provided some information regarding its policies and programs yet provided limited metrics reflecting the progress of such commitment through its diversity initiatives.
As a result of our proposal, Aflac included an employee demographic chart in its 2016 CSR report. The chart gives a snapshot of Aflac’s workforce by role, gender, and ethnic/race status. With close to 10,000 employees, Aflac reports that 18.1% of Executive/Senior Level Officials & Managers are minorities and 30% of all executive leaders are women. The report also discusses Aflac’s continued efforts in diverse hiring, recruiting, and expanding the talent pipeline.
We commend Aflac for engaging in a productive dialogue on the lack of diversity in the financial services sector. Trillium believes that diversity, inclusive of gender and race, is an essential component of sound governance and a critical attribute to a well-functioning organization. By making these advances in diversity reporting, Aflac has signaled a significant commitment to transparency in driving diversity and inclusion throughout the firm.
Trillium Asset Management is the oldest investment advisor focused exclusively on sustainable and responsible investing. Trillium manages over $2 billion in assets for clients including individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other non-profits. Trillium leverages the power of stock ownership to promote social and environmental change while providing both impact and performance to our investors. To learn more, please visit www.trilliuminvest.com.
This is not a recommendation to buy or sell the security mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such security has been or will be profitable. The specific security mentioned was selected by the authors on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed and does not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is for informational purposes only.