Publicly Disclose Diversity Data – Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn
Whereas equal employment is a key issue for many shareholders. The 1995 bipartisan Glass Ceiling Commission Study explains that a positive diversity record has a positive impact on the bottom line. Yet while women and minorities comprise 57% of the U.S. workforce, they represent only 3% of executive management positions.
Whereas workplace discrimination has often created a significant burden for shareholders, in several instances exceeding $100 million to settle discrimination lawsuits. This issue is a priority for stakeholders due to the high cost of litigation, potential loss of government contracts, and the financial consequences of a damaged corporate image resulting from discrimination allegations.
Whereas Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (“Morgan Stanley”) has faced several high profile race and sex discrimination lawsuits in recent years, including three separate charges of race-based discrimination, and one charge of gender-based discrimination. In June 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that our company had discriminated against a female executive, and that it had engaged in a “pattern and practice of discrimination” against the executive and possibly against other women in similar positions in the company. In September, our company agreed to make a $1 million payment to the National Urban League in exchange for an agreement by a former employee to drop a racial discrimination lawsuit..
Whereas more than 150 major U.S. corporations publicly report to shareholders on workforce diversity progress and challenges. Among them are large financial institutions that report workforce data according to the EEOC s comprehensive EEO-1 data form, including Bank of New York, Chase Manhattan, First Union, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Wachovia.
Resolved: Shareholders request that Morgan Stanley prepare a report at reasonable cost, which may exclude confidential information. This report shall be made available to shareholders and employees by September 2001 and shall include:
1. A table identifying the number of employees by race and sex in each of the nine Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defined job categories for 1998, 1999 and 2000.
2. A table identifying the number of employees by race and sex at the vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president levels.
3. A summary of policies and initiatives to advance for women and minorities into managerial positions and other job classifications where they are found to be underutilized.
4. A description of policies and programs directing the purchase of goods and services to minority and/or women-owned businesses.
5. A report on material litigation in which Morgan Stanley is involved concerning race, sex, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or municipal employment law.
Just as the Financial Accounting Standards Board sets standards on the reporting of financial data, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sets the standard on reporting diversity data. Since the company already collects the data in the EEOC format, it would not be burdensome to make this data available to investors. Comprehensive disclosure is a powerful incentive for companies to accomplish fully their equal opportunity objectives. Such accountability would solidify management’s dedication to a diverse workforce.