Menu
Banking Exchange Magazine Logo
Menu

Campaigners Push for Improved Workforce Disclosures

SEC is right to demand better disclosures around staffing and worker welfare, say impact campaigners

  • |
  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
Campaigners Push for Improved Workforce Disclosures

Impact investment groups have voiced support for updated corporate disclosure rules for staffing and worker welfare.

Testifying to the US House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets last week, this declaration came from representatives of JUST Capital and the US Impact Investing Alliance.

The groups called for politicians to support efforts by the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) to improve the amount of information listed companies are required to disclosure about their workforces.

At the start of the hearing — titled “E, S, G, and W: Examining Private Sector Disclosure of Workforce Management, Investment, and Diversity Data” — Republican Representative Bill Huizenga argued such rules would be an overreach by the SEC.

However, Fran Seegull, president of the US Impact Investing Alliance, said: “Transparency and accountability are the hallmarks of efficient markets. The current lack of information creates market inefficiencies, harming investors and weakening the entire financial system. It is in the long-term interest of both individual companies and the wider economy to be responsive in disclosing these factors for investors.”

Cambria Allen-Ratzlaff, managing director and head of investor strategies at JUST Capital, outlined her organization’s research that showed most Americans want companies to pay a fair wage.

In addition, JUST Capital found those companies that perform well on workforce welfare metrics tend to outperform financially.

However, current corporate disclosures relating to staffing only require companies to disclose headcount.

“This reporting standard was set in 1973, when over 80% of the S&P 500’s market cap was property, plant, and equipment,” Allen-Ratzlaff said. “Fast forward 50 years to today, and 90% of the S&P 500 is based on intangible assets. It’s human capital — the collective knowledge, skills, and experiences of the workforce — powering economic growth.

“But as our financial reporting standards have lagged, this also means that up to 90% of company value may not be reflected in companies’ disclosed financials. And investors have taken note.”

She added that, without more information relating to the makeup of company workforces and how they are managed, “investors are flying blind” with regards to understanding how companies are run and how risks are managed.

back to top

Sections

About Us

Connect With Us

Resources

Technology is rapidly changing the way accountants perform and manage month-end activities. Spreadsheets, email, and shared drives no longer should slow us down. Automation generally supercharges any process and brings its value to the forefront. To get to the next level of closing, automation is a must so that repetitive, predictable, and laborious tasks can be automated.

Join us as we present a "sneak peek" into SkyStem's month-end close solution – ART. In under four weeks, your team can start reaping the benefits of month-end close automation by vastly reducing spreadsheets, cut down on reconciliation work, speed up the month-end close, and better manage your remote team.

Some results our customers have enjoyed include:

REGISTER NOW!

This webinar is brought to you by:
skystem logo