Travelers Companies – Workforce Diversity (2020)
Outcome: Withdrawn following the company's actions to fully disclose EEO-1 workforce diversity data
Travelers Companies states that “diversity and inclusion is a business imperative for us” and “We are committed to not only increasing diversity in our hiring at all levels but also fostering an inclusive environment where all employees can develop and thrive.”
However, all six of Travelers named executive officers are white males. Women represent only 24% of the 26 member executive team, but comprise 55% of the company’s total workforce.
Beyond this, Travelers Companies does not disclose comprehensive workforce data, or disclose results of diversity initiatives. As a result, shareholders have insufficient information to determine if Travelers Companies has a diverse and inclusive workforce or has been successful in expanding diversity into senior roles.
Leading insurance companies such as MetLife, Aflac, and Allstate Corporation provide details of diversity programs and policies, and disclose workforce statistics consistent with data provided to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Other financial services firms such as PNC, Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Bank of New York Mellon are also disclosing comprehensive workforce diversity statistics.
A growing body of empirical research indicates a significant positive relationship between firm value and the percentage of women and people of color in senior leadership roles. A McKinsey & Company report found that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial ethnicity are more likely to financially outperform national industry medians. Companies with greater ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to outperform. In a study released by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a group of researchers found that share prices jumped when companies reported better-than-expected gender diversity; they fell when firms announced demographics that underwhelmed. Without detailed workforce diversity information, investors cannot accurately evaluate Travelers’ commitment to diversity and progress over time.
Earlier this year Travelers joined the Business Round Table and 180 other CEOs in a revised Statement of Purpose of a Corporation which calls on companies to serve communities, stakeholders, employees, and investors.
Diversity benchmarks can help ensure companies hiring financial professionals, such as Travelers Companies, create competitive workforces. Companies that are publicly accountable to diversity goals are most likely to make rapid progress toward achieving their goals.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Travelers Companies prepare a diversity report, at a reasonable cost and omitting confidential information, available to investors including:
1. A chart identifying employees according to gender and race in major EEOC-defined job categories, listing numbers or percentages in each category;
2. A description of policies/programs focused on increasing gender and racial diversity in the workplace.
Supporting Statement: Last year, this proposal received a vote of 50.9% – a majority level of support that management should not continue to ignore. A report adequate for investors to assess strategy and performance can include a review of appropriate time-bound benchmarks for judging current and future progress, and details of policies and practices designed to reduce unconscious bias in hiring and to build mentorship.