P&G Will Rename Skin Creams ‘at Minimum’: Equality Summit Update
(Bloomberg) -- Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard wouldn’t say the company would stop selling controversial skin lightening creams that have come under scrutiny for perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes. “At a minimum,” though, the consumer products giant will rename them. Kewsong Lee, co-chief executive officer of Carlyle Group, said that his company has not had an issue finding diverse talent.
P&G Walks a Fine Line on Controversial Skin-Lightening Creams (5:20 p.m. NY)
P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said the company is looking at every product in its portfolio to address any biased messages. When asked if he would stop selling controversial skin-lightening creams that perpetuate racist stereotypes, he said P&G will start by renaming them “at minimum.”
Pritchard also weighed in on comments made by Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf on the limited black talent pool.
“It’s a myth. It’s untrue -- it’s absolutely inaccurate,” Pritchard said. “I’ve heard that before and the reality is there are talented people out there. There are talented Black people, brown people and Asian people.”
Performer John Legend, also on the panel, added “Wells Fargo in particular has caused significant harm in our communities by deceiving people and duping them into taking mortgages that they shouldn’t have taken.”
LL Cool J Wants Black Artists to Get Their Due (4:19 p.m. NY)
Rap legend LL Cool J said he’s trying to capitalize on the huge spending power of Gen X fans. He is the chief executive officer of Rock The Bells, a music and apparel company that promotes classic hip-hop music.
“Generation X has $2.4 trillion in spending power,” he said. Classic hip-hop fans make up a huge portion of that group. “They’ve been ignored.”
He’s also trying to solidify the legacy of early rap artists like Salt-N-Pepa and Eric B. & Rakim. “The Bob Dylans and the Mick Jaggers, they get the love and the respect as they should,” he said. “But you know what, the Rakims and the Nases and the LL Cool Js should get their respect. The Big Daddy Kanes, they should be lifted up as well.”
HBCUs Are Seeing 10X Donations This Year (3:19 p.m. NY)
Since June, Historically Black College and Universities have received almost a half-billion dollars in gifts, said Michael Lomax, CEO of the United Negro College Fund. In a typical full year, donations would be about a tenth of that, he said. The combined endowments of 101 HBCUs is only a fraction of the endowment at Harvard University, so the surge in resources is a welcome change, Lomax said. The average HBCU has about a $12 million endowment, one third that of peers, he said.
Ruth J. Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University in Texas, said that enrollment is up, perhaps because the HBCUs students don’t have a lot of choices. Students are eager to be on campus for in-person learning and socializing, not to stay home for virtual classes.
“That’s not what they bargained for when they came to university,” she said.
Carlyle’s Lee Says His Firm Has a Pipeline of Diverse Talent (2:47 p.m. NY)
Kewsong Lee, Co-CEO of Carlyle Group, said he didn’t want to comment on Wells Fargo directly, but he said that his company has not had an issue with finding candidates with diversity and he does have a pipeline of talent. About half of recent hires are either women or people of color and about 1-in-5 people of color, Lee said.
In July, the company spelled out a number of measures to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. By 2023, Carlyle said it wants 30% of the corporate boards of companies controlled by its private-equity group to be composed of women or minorities.
TPG’s Winkelried Laments Lack of Investor Interest in Diversity (2:19 p.m. NY)
Jon Winkelried, co-chief executive officer at TPG Holdings LP, said he wished TPG’s own investors, which include public pension plans, would take more of an interest in diversity.
While there has been a steady increase in inquiries from investors on the topic, Winkelried said it wasn’t enough. “The providers of capital are slowly recognizing that they can’t be silent,” he said, pointing to how those investors’ constituencies are very diverse.
A year ago, TPG started an initiative requiring that at least one woman be included on the board of each of its portfolio companies. Since then, Winkelried said that more than 80 women have been added to the boards with 21% of them considered racially diverse.
Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox Holdings Corp. and one of the leaders of the Board Diversity Action Alliance, said that diversity in companies has to start in the boardroom because those directors hire the CEO and set the tone of leadership.
“One of the reasons there needs to be diversity on the board is so the discussion doesn’t get pushed out of the boardroom,” said Burns, who was speaking on the panel with Winkelried.
Dow CEO: It’s Up to Companies to Set Tone for More Civil Discourse (12:35 p.m. NY)
Society has become too polarized, and companies and their chief executive officers have a responsibility “to set the tone” for more civil discourse, said Jim Fitterling, CEO of Dow Inc. “We’ve forgotten what civil society is all about,” he said, and “missed the boat on how we treat people.”
Dow has relied heavily on employee groups to craft its response to the unrest this year over racial injustice. The Dow board, with three Black directors, has also helped, Fittlerling said. In addition, the company has used input from diverse workers to shape its products, such as developing razors that work better for Black men.
The CEO also weighed in on the work-from-home debate. Two-thirds of Dow’s workforce has been stationed at home, and “It’s been seamless,” he said. “We got closer to customers and we did a better job servicing them.”
But it’s harder to build and maintain a company culture when most of your workers, and especially newer employees, aren’t together in the office, he said. “We can’t stay 100% work from home forever.”
Cisco’s Pledge to Improve Black Representation (12:00 p.m. NY)
Cisco Systems Inc. today announced it will increase the number of Black employees and leaders. Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO, said Black employees pointed out the steps that need to be taken. “We have a lot to learn. We have a long way to go, but we’re making progress,” he said.
The biggest maker of web networking equipment said its goal is to increase the company’s workforce of Black people by 25% by 2023 in entry-level to manager roles. The San Jose, California-based company said it wants to raise Black representation by 75% in its top ranks. There are no Black executives on Cisco’s leadership team.
Softbank Has Funded 15 Companies Run by People of Color Since June (11:06 a.m. NY)
Shu Nyatta, a managing partner who co-heads the Opportunity Fund said Softbank has funded almost 15 companies out of 600 that it evaluated since launching a $100 million Opportunity Fund in June, which exclusively invests in firms led by people of color.
A key part of the Opportunity Fund’s strategy is to target early stage Black and Latinx companies, Nyatta said. “The pipeline is rich and the pipeline is young and we just have to accept that and help it grow up.”
‘There Is No Pipeline Issue,’ Goldman Sachs’s Jemma Wolfe Says (10:57 a.m. NY)
Jemma Wolfe, of the Goldman Sachs initiative Launch With GS, said the investing world doesn’t have a pipeline problem, but a network problem. Earlier this week, Wells Fargo Chief Executive Charles Scharf was criticized for reported remarks blaming the bank’s lack of diverse talent on a “very limited pool” to recruit from. Wolfe was saying she sees no such issue in investing.
The Case for and Against Reparations for Slavery (10:29 a.m. NY)
The U.S. and the U.K. have already paid reparations to slave owners, but continue to debate, what, if anything can and should be done for the descendants of more than 10 million former slaves.
The price tag is at least $4.9 trillion, and may be nearly triple that, said Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. Because of the legacy of slavery, it will take the average Black family in the U.S. 288 years to catch up with White households, said Katherine Franke, James L. Dohr Professor of Law, Columbia University. She proposes a trust that would be funded by higher estate taxes.
Glenn Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Economics at Brown University, argued against reparations, saying they would exacerbate the political divide in the U.S. and racism. Reparations may also give a sense that the issue is settled, rather than ongoing, he said.
Bank of England Unlikely to Reach Its Diversity Goals for 2020 and 2022 (9:48 a.m. NY)
The Bank of England is working to remove artifacts and take down portraits of governors who had connections to the slave trade as part of a public apology for the bank’s role in slavery, said Joanna Place, chief operating officer of the Bank of England. Some of the artifacts may be relocated to a Bank of England museum as part of process of acknowledging past issues, she said.
The bank is unlikely to meet goals for people of color and women in senior leadership roles. The bank had aimed to have women make up 35% of leadership roles by the end of this year and people of color in 13% of senior management by the end of 2022.
Bank of America Says It Can’t Solve Inequality on its Own (9:24 a.m. NY)
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said financial firms can’t solve racial and income disparities on their own -- that “you need some catalyst” from public officials to push forward projects that address inequalities. Banks can lend money to housing developments in low- and moderate-income communities, for example, but government officials can speed up construction by authorizing projects more quickly, Moynihan said in an interview for the Bloomberg Equality Summit. “Really what the public side needs to do is to permit -- drive the authorization part of it,” he said.
NatWest Continues Hiring During Pandemic for Racial Balance (8:57 a.m. NY)
NatWest Group Plc’s employee-led task force is meeting with bosses this week to discuss ways to promote inclusion in the British bank, according to CEO Alison Rose.
Rose said there had been awkward conversations throughout the company in recent months on issues such as white privilege and speaking up on bias. “This isn’t up to our Black colleagues to talk about it -- it’s up to all of us to talk about it so we can build understanding and solutions.”
NatWest has continued to hire during the Covid-19 pandemic to help bring in diverse talent, with 260 graduates joining next week and summer internships carried out online, she said. Rose, the first woman to run a major U.K. lender, said she was “always going to be impatient that progress isn’t fast enough.”
Delta’s Plan to Improve Black Representation (8:11 a.m. NY)
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that the company is committed to bringing better representation of Black employees, who are under-represented both among the overall workforce but even among other people of color.
“That’s a pretty wide gap that we need to commit to closing,” he said. “Our company does not have a great record on this in the past and may have some challenges it needs to correct for in order to be a more just company.”
It’s essential for Delta to go beyond its recruitment pipeline and into colleges and universities, and even to elementary education, to find talent early and improve opportunities, he said.
“We’re all in a period of trying to understand what we have to do,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of great role models among corporate CEOs, which is evidence of the fact our Black colleagues have not had the same access to the C suite.”
Clinton Decries Rush to Fill Ginsburg’s Seat (7:37 a.m. NY)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Republican rush to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court could spell the end of Obamacare, but that she opposes increasing the size of the court in response. Clinton cited Ginsburg’s reported last wish -- that the seat she had held since 1993 remain vacant until the presidential election was decided. She acknowledged that Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm an appointment from President Donald Trump before the Nov. 3 election.
Fauci Says Covid Sickens Minorities, Essential Workers (7:21 a.m. NY)
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, highlighted how Covid-19 disproportionately sickens people of color, and said they must be strongly represented in the race to find a vaccine.
Fauci, who heads the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that people of color often hold essential jobs that don’t allow them to work from home. At the same time, they have higher prevalence of conditions including diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
It’s a toxic combination that’s translated into higher Covid-19 hospitalization rates than the population at large, according to Fauci.
“There’s almost a double whammy on the minority populations,” he said.
Fauci called the pandemic the biggest challenge he has seen in the four decades he’s been in his post, rivaled only by the HIV/AIDS crisis. He also said it’s “aspirational” to get all Americans vaccinated by April of next year, it’s more likely to happen toward the middle to the end of 2021.
See the full story here: Double Whammy for Minorities Key in Vaccine Race, Fauci Says
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