October 15, 2020

In a compelling move by the Business Roundtable, leaders in major corporations are recognizing, accepting, and taking action to bring justice into the lives of all people, particularly those who have been hindered from economic growth.

Graphically exploring the reality between People of Color and those who are white the evidence speaks volumes for the underlying injustice of the economic systems of the United States:

“Despite some significant strides over the generations, the events of 2020 have illustrated how far we still have to go to ensure that every person can fully realize opportunity and justice in America.

As some of the country’s largest employers, Business Roundtable CEOs believe they have a role to play in driving real change. On June 5, 2020, Business Roundtable Chairman Doug McMillon of Walmart established a Special Committee of the Board to identify meaningful steps Business Roundtable companies can take to advance racial equity and justice. On July 1, 2020, the Special Committee outlined proposals for federal policing reform legislation and launched an effort to persuade Congress to pass a bipartisan bill.”

These Chief Executive Officers of major US companies have gone on record with these encouraging statements:


“The racial inequities that exist for many Americans of color are real and deeply rooted. These longstanding systemic challenges have far too often prevented access to the benefits of economic growth and mobility for far too many, and a broad and diverse group of Americans is demanding change. It is our employees, customers and communities who are calling for change, and we are listening – and most importantly – we are taking action.”

Doug McMillon

President & CEO, Walmart

Chairman, Business Roundtable

“We all have the opportunity to change the status quo—and business leaders across all sectors of the economy understand that change begins at home. That means doing all we can to make our companies as diverse and inclusive as possible, while ensuring accountability with measurable results. It is our responsibility to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds, and by prioritizing diversity and inclusion we can better our companies and our country.”

Alex Gorsky

Chairman of the Board & CEO, Johnson & Johnson

Chair, Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee

“It is clear that equity in education and quality childcare are two critical components to ensuring a successful future for students of color. And we know that a diverse and inclusive workplace is also crucial to business success. It creates a strong workforce and promotes fresh, innovative thinking. As business leaders, we are collectively opening new paths to jobs and career advancement by reviewing our hiring and promoting practices. We support policy actions that ease student debt burdens, increase access to high quality and affordable pre-K and K-12 education, and increase federal support for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.”

Mary Barra

Chairman and CEO, General Motors

Chair, Business Roundtable Racial Equity and Justice Committee, Subcommittee on Education and Workforce

“The racial wealth divide is a result of centuries of policies and systems that have significantly curtailed opportunity and wealth creation for Black and Latinx people. We have a historic opportunity to rebuild our nation to be more equitable for all.”

Jamie Dimon

Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Chair, Business Roundtable Racial Equity and Justice, Subcommittee on Finance

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequity in health and has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Higher incidences of underlying chronic health issues, including asthma, diabetes and hypertension, have compounded its effects on Black Americans and other communities of color. While the pandemic is unprecedented, sadly these health disparities are not new, resulting in many cases from systems, practices and implicit biases that perpetuate them. In addition to these inequities, there are also a number of factors – environmental, social and economic – that determine health outcomes. As employers, we’re members of the communities where we operate, and we will work with government at all levels to help achieve better and more equitable health care and outcomes.”

Arne Sorenson

President & CEO, Marriott International

Chair, Business Roundtable Health & Retirement Committee

“Recent tragic killings of unarmed Black men and women have put a spotlight on policing in communities of color. Disproportionately, Black Americans are stopped, searched, arrested and punished more often than their White peers, and incarceration can result in short- and long-term lost income, limited employment prospects. This can lead to a lifetime of lost opportunities, impacting generations. While business leaders are not arbiters of justice, we will do what is in our power to advocate for commonsense policing reforms and facilitate the full reintegration -entry of justice-involved formerly incarcerated individuals into society by removing barriers increasing access to economic opportunity.”

Craig Arnold

Chairman & CEO, Eaton

Chair, Business Roundtable Racial Equity and Justice Committee, Subcommittee on Equitable Justice

“I’m pleased to see BRT engaging on racial justice and equity issues, and I was honored to serve on the Special Committee. Diversity and inclusion are core values of our society. During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever for business leaders to step up and use their voice, resources and influence to help create positive change.”

Hans Vestberg

Chairman & CEO, Verizon Communications

“Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic. The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more.”

Brian Moynihan

Chairman of the Board & CEO, Bank of America

“At USAA, we strive to create an environment where all employees feel like they truly belong and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. This commitment extends to the communities in which we live and work. It’s our mission to care for military families, a community that reflects our nation’s racial, social and economic diversity — and the complex issues that come with it. We recognize that there is more USAA can do to help close inequality gaps, and these investments are a fundamental part of our efforts.”

Wayne Peacock

President & CEO, USAA

“Too often all of us – especially Corporate America – let moments of change come and go. The Business Roundtable’s Racial Equity & Justice Roadmap challenges our collective acceptance of inaction and establishes a path to change and accountability. With this backdrop, and with a shift in our awareness of the inequity that exists in our world, I believe we can and will build a bridge to a better world.”

Margaret Keane

CEO, Synchrony

“I can commit that our company will do all we can to support our diverse communities and foster a company culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion.”

Charles Scharf

CEO & President, Wells Fargo

“Companies have a critical role to play in addressing deep racial disparities, through internal diversity and inclusion efforts, corporate philanthropy, and—most critically—through their core businesses. Meaningful change will require bold moves, and BCG is committed to helping our firm, clients, and society become more inclusive and equitable for all.”

Rich Lesser

CEO, Boston Consulting Group

“Microsoft supports the recommendations released today, which include meaningful steps across a range of industries to support addressing racial injustice and inequity. We believe technology has a role to play in this effort and are making commitments to drive change within Microsoft, across our ecosystem and in our communities, focused on transforming our culture, expanding access to skills, affordable broadband, and ensuring modern and thriving community financial institutions.”

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft

“Standing on the sidelines of racial and social justice is not an option. We remain committed to full inclusion and will continue to transparently share data to hold ourselves accountable and drive real change. Intel is also proud to advocate for public policy and legislative solutions that combat systemic inequity. Inclusion and equity are not a program or a competition. It’s how we do business.”

Bob Swan

CEO, Intel

“Our goal as business leaders should be to increase educational attainment for all students. Investments in pre-K and childhood literacy can move us closer to educational equity and a society that offers everyone an opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

Jim Goodnight




To read the entire article with links to the six areas these business leaders are addressing click here.