Travelers Companies – Workplace Diversity (2019)
Travelers Companies states that “At Travelers, diversity is not just good business, it’s a business imperative” and “Diversity, and the ideas it brings, is essential for our success as an insurance company. Travelers values the unique abilities and talents each individual has to offer.”
However, Travelers Companies does not disclose workforce data, or disclose results of diversity initiatives. As a result, shareholders have insufficient information to determine if Travelers Companies has a diverse workforce or has been successful in expanding diversity into senior and executive 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 (EEOC). 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. For every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rise 0.8 percent. Without detailed workforce diversity information investors cannot accurately evaluate Travelers’ commitment to diversity and progress over time.
Expanding workforce diversity requires policies and programs that attract and retain diversity in the workplace. A company’s family leave policies, for example, can play a role. McKinsey & Company reports that paid parental leave and the availability of on-site child care can significantly impact women’s ability to rise to higher productivity roles and therefore perpetuate a gender wage gap. The best performing companies on gender diversity have implemented gender neutral policies that improve the workplace for both men and women, according to McKinsey. These policies are also important to same-sex and adoptive parents.
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: 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.