BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: ESG Investors Find That Diversity Data Is Hard to Come By

By Ishika Mookerjee, August 28, 2020

Calls for racial diversity at every level of the corporate world have inspired socially conscious investors. It’s a powerful group, with more than $30 trillion in global assets backing companies that prioritize environmental stewardship, social impact, and good governance, known by the shorthand ESG. But when it comes to how integrated companies are—or aren’t—the data are painfully limited. “I would be surprised if we have full transparency on this topic,” says Remy Briand, head of ESG at index provider MSCI Inc.

The reason? “Companies don’t want to disclose, because the data we are asking for is unflattering,” especially when it comes to the best-paying jobs, says Natasha Lamb, a managing partner at Arjuna Capital LLC. The firm pushes U.S. companies to disclose racial and gender pay gaps. AlphabetBank of America, and Facebook have opposed Arjuna’s proposals, while a handful of companies including Citigroup and Starbucks have agreed to provide data.

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