With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, high unemployment and nationwide unrest over the continued killings of unarmed Black men and women, 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges that laid bare the systemic racial inequities that, despite progress over generations, have persisted and prevented many Americans from fully realizing opportunity and justice in America.
In response, Business Roundtable Chairman Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, convened member CEOs in June 2020 and established a Special Committee on Racial Equity and Justice. Business Roundtable CEOs immediately took action, beginning by advocating for bipartisan policing reform legislation.
Business Roundtable CEOs then turned to an issue central to fairness and equity in our economy — the racial wealth gap. After consulting with over 100 experts from across the ideological spectrum to understand the key policy considerations around closing the gaps in economic opportunity for people of color, Business Roundtable CEOs released a set of policy recommendations and corporate commitments in October 2020 that address racial disparities in education, employment, finance, health, housing and the justice systems.
One year later, Business Roundtable CEOs continue to advocate on public policy recommendations to address the racial wealth gap. They have also taken significant steps within their own companies by deploying funds, establishing new organizational policies and practices, developing and expanding partnerships, and increasing their workforce and supplier diversity — all with a goal to create lasting change. They recognize that while they have made meaningful progress, there is still more work to be done.