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Global ESG Research Update — Continuing the conversation on diversity and inclusion

Our team describes insights gained during a firmwide panel discussion with D&I officers from leading global consumer companies. We also provide an update on our ESG engagement and proxy voting activity in the quarter.

Views expressed are those of the authors and are subject to change. Other teams may hold different views and make different investment decisions. The value of your investment may become worth more or less than at the time of original investment. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed. For professional or institutional investors only. Your capital may be at risk.

Wellington recently welcomed diversity and inclusion (D&I) officers from three leading global consumer companies to our inaugural D&I panel, which was open to all Wellington associates. Hosted by members of our ESG Research Team and global industry analysts, this discussion led to several insights:

Management and leadership matter. The panelists agreed that company leadership can plant the seeds, but fundamental change will take root only if everyone feels included and empowered. Employees, consumers, and shareholders increasingly expect companies to foster diverse and inclusive workplaces. The more leaders take action on D&I, treating it as a business issue, the more it will be seen as such. The panelists also acknowledged that businesses should mirror the markets they serve in order to run efficiently and effectively. D&I practices should be embedded throughout the entire company, from the C-suite down.

Employee and community engagement are key. A company’s D&I initiatives drive positive societal change. Employee feedback on manager effectiveness and inclusion, robust talent development programs, diversity-focused hiring practices, and more skills-based training allows companies to embrace diversity as an engine of innovation. The panelists highlighted that once a company’s D&I practices shift from a compliance and regulatory perspective to one of allyship and outreach, entire communities are involved in solving broader social issues.

Disclosure on progress confirms accountability. In the US, lack of regulation supporting workplace ethnic-diversity disclosure has created an information gap, particularly for Black employees. The panelists emphasized that…

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