A group of 48 leading companies* convened by the World Economic Forum (WEF) have established Partnering for Racial Justice in Business, a new initiative aimed at eradicating racism in the workplace against professionals with underrepresented racial and ethnic identities. Launched during the Davos Agenda 2021, the coalition will address issues including racial injustice, inequity and underrepresented leadership in the workplace faced by professionals of colour and minority ethnic backgrounds, while setting new global standards for racial equity in business.

In order to join the coalition, members agree to several key steps, including placing racial and ethnic justice on their board’s agendas, making at least one commitment towards racial and ethnic justice in their organizations, and setting a long-term strategy to becoming an anti-racist organization.

According to the WEF, the initiative will seek to increase the visibility of racially and ethnically diverse leaders throughout industries. Black inclusion and addressing anti-Blackness, historically one of the most pervasive forms of racism, will be one of the coalition’s starting points, with the focus expanding to include additional racial and ethnic groups as the initiative evolves.

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, said:

“With just 1% of Fortune 500 companies led by Black chief executives, the need to tackle racial under-representation in business is urgent and obvious. To design racially and ethnically just workplaces, companies must confront racism at a systemic level, addressing not just the structural and social mechanics of their own organizations, but also the role they play in their communities and the economy at large. The Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative provides an effective platform for businesses to take individual and collective action towards racially and ethnically just workplaces.”

*Founding members of the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business coalition include: A.P. Møller-Maersk, AlixPartners, AstraZeneca, Bank of America, BlackRock, Bloomberg, Boston Consulting Group, Bridgewater Associates, Centene, Cisco Systems, Cognizant, Dentsu International, Deutsche Bank, EY, Facebook, Google, H&M Group, Henry Schein, HP, Infosys, Ingka Group (IKEA), Jacobs Engineering Group, Jefferson Health, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Kearney, LinkedIn, ManpowerGroup, Mastercard, Mayo Clinic, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Nestlé, PayPal, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Salesforce, SAP, Standard Chartered Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, The Coca-Cola Company, Depository Trust and Clearing (DTCC), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Uber Technologies, Unilever, UPS and Willis Towers Watson.