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Companies in Chicago Report Progress on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commitments

Two years after George Floyd’s murder, corporate participants in 5/25 Move to Action share progress to motivate sustained, regionwide corporate action to advance racial equity in Chicago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2022

(Chicago …) Two years after George Floyd’s murder—and one year after 25 companies in Chicago formed 5/25 Move to Action to galvanize corporate commitments to advance racial equity—5/25 Move to Action is issuing its first progress update.

In June 2021, each of the 25 companies made commitments to take action in one or more of three categories: increasing quality, resilient employment, strengthening businesses of color, and investing in disinvested neighborhoods. In April 2022, the organizations co-leading 5/25 Move to Action, the Corporate Coalition of Chicago and We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery, with support from The Chicago Community Trust, interviewed, convened, and surveyed the companies to gauge progress on their respective commitments over the past year.

Twenty-five companies engaged in individual interviews, fourteen companies participated in the convening, and thirteen companies responded to the follow-up survey. Key takeaways from the interviews and survey responses include the following:

  • Among survey respondents, six reported they are taking actions to grow diverse supplier spending; five are investing in local community development and capacity building; eight are focused on inclusive workforce strategies and providing equitable access to internal, high-quality opportunities that reduce income and wealth disparities; and five are taking internal actions to shift culture, such as changes to board engagement on DEI and mission/vision.
  • Overall, survey respondents rated their progress toward their individual commitments to racial equity over the past year at 7.6 of 10.
  • Survey respondents rated their progress on continuing to focus on their commitments to racial equity in the upcoming year at 8.9 of 10.

Companies participating in 5/25 Move to Action also shared specific ways they are changing policies and practices to advance their commitments. Over time, 5/25 Move to Action aims for those changes, and changes of other companies, to create a new culture of doing business in the Chicago region.

“Together, we can evolve to a smarter, moral capitalism that delivers exceptional growth, jobs and returns alongside broader societal gains, including improved equity and inclusion in our economy,” said Marty Nesbitt, co-CEO, The Vistria Group. “Corporate leadership is critical. We have the power to target how and where we invest our capital, and we can do it in a way that makes our communities stronger. We can ensure our employees and vendors are diverse. We can demand accountability from our larger suppliers.”

Specific company actions include the following:

  • Vistria has advanced and accelerated initiatives to build diversity across the firm, its portfolio companies, and their boards of directors. The board mandate guarantees at least two diverse members of every company board. The diverse hiring strategy aims to align company hiring with industry and geography so Vistria companies look like the communities they serve. Vistria companies have devoted an additional $500,000 in financial and in-kind support for organizations across the country that are advancing DEI in their respective communities.
  • United, the only U.S. airline with its own flight school, United Aviate Academy, launched with a goal to train 5,000 pilots by 2030 and that 50 percent will be women or people of color. United exceeded that goal with its inaugural class of trainees, which are 80 percent women or people of color.
  • Since the founding of 5/25 Move to Action, Greeley and Hansen has tripled its investment in advancing educational opportunities for Black and Latinx communities.  
  • Rush University Medical Center is hiring locally above their 17 percent target.  
  • Accenture is expanding apprenticeship hiring to 20 percent of U.S. entry-level roles. Since establishing the apprenticeship program in 2016, Accenture has hired more than 1,200 apprentices, 80 percent of whom joined the company without a four-year college degree.
  • SDI Presence spent more than half (53.3 percent) of their vendor budget with diverse partners.  
  • In November 2020, BMO Harris launched BMO Empower, a $5 billion, five-year commitment to address key barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families in the United States, including increased access to capital. In just the first year, BMO deployed about $2.5 billion, which far exceeded their multi-year goal.   
  • Advocate Aurora Health is building the capacity of its minority vendors, mentoring and matching them with majority firms. To date, Advocate Aurora Health also committed more than $30 million through community development institutions. 

“Private corporations employ more than 84 percent of the Chicago region’s workforce. Their role in ensuring Black and Latinx people benefit from our region’s economic recovery cannot be overstated,” said Gloria Castillo, director, We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery. “The companies participating in 5/25 Move to Action are modeling how to adjust business systems and practices to ensure everyone can achieve their full potential.”

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we know we can’t go back to business as usual,” said Brian Fabes, managing director, Corporate Coalition of Chicago. “The 25 companies participating in 5/25 Move to Action are embracing ‘business unusual’ to create a more inclusive business culture in the Chicago region. We look forward to continuing to help them lift up their success stories and learn from each other.”

For more information, please contact Nina Alcacio, nalcacio@cct.org, 312-616-8000.

5/25 Move to Action Participating Companies
Abbott
Accenture
Advocate Aurora Health
Allstate
Bank of America
Baxter
Blommer Chocolate Company
BMO Harris
Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC
Deloitte
Fifth Third Bank
Greeley and Hansen
Hyatt
ITW
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
KPMG
Mars Wrigley
Mesirow
Northwestern Medicine
Obama Foundation
Rush University Medical Center
SDI Presence
United Airlines
Vistria
Winston & Strawn LLP

About We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery
We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery is a coalition of corporate and philanthropic funders and communities working together to accelerate equity in the Chicago region’s economic recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how chronic disinvestment exacerbated health and economic risks and left Black and Latinx communities uniquely vulnerable. In response, this five-year initiative, which began in 2021, is making grants, transforming business practices, and changing policies to support investment in disinvested neighborhoods, strengthen Black and Latinx businesses, and increase quality, resilient employment. For more information, visit www.wrtogether.org.   

About Corporate Coalition of Chicago
 The Corporate Coalition of Chicago is an alliance of companies whose mission is to reduce historic and ongoing racial and economic inequities in the region by deploying their capital, capabilities, and employee enthusiasm in new ways.  Members share a vision of a corporate culture in Chicago where leaders understand that reducing inequities is essential to their business success and to a thriving regional economy, leading them to challenge business as usual in the way they invest, operate, and govern. For more information, visit corpcoalition.org.

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