Alongside CEOs of 23 other companies, including Pfizer and HP, Lowrey outlines for Business Insider steps Prudential is taking to lead progress toward social equity.
Following are comments from Prudential’s Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey featured in a June 13 article in Business Insider on corporate actions to promote racial equity.
“In March 2019, within months of becoming Prudential’s CEO, I announced four major initiatives to set our company’s focus. Becoming a fully inclusive company was on that short list.
Despite our substantive and long-standing equity commitments and programs, I wanted to drive results further and faster because it is a moral imperative, and it makes us a better employer, community partner and company. We are adapting and accelerating this work to respond to the profoundly disturbing nature of recent events.
"Our Black colleagues understandably are finding it difficult to show up as if nothing is happening. Prudential is stepping forward as an ally by continuing to speak out against racism and for equity."
While we are all feeling a lot of emotions right now, our Black colleagues understandably are finding it difficult to show up as if nothing is happening. Prudential, among the oldest and largest companies in the U.S., is stepping forward as an ally by amplifying and continuing to speak out against racism and for equity. Our public statement of anti-racist values was reinforced in broadcast and social media by our leaders. Going forward, we will ask the other companies we transact business with to stand as vocal allies alongside us.
Prudential’s Black Leadership Forum, formed in 2002, brought together nearly 5,000 employees on June 11 to share expert perspectives, personal stories of everyday racism and specific actions we need to take as a company. We are hosting smaller sessions across the enterprise to enable employees to engage and reflect, and to help us understand the further actions we can take to make a measurable difference.
We are proud that Prudential already has a diverse board, but we have more to do. To drive greater accountability, we tied senior executive long-term compensation to diverse representation goals in 2018, with financial consequences if we don’t make progress. An in-house team of experts in inclusion, philanthropy and socially responsible investing has led Prudential’s partnerships to build a diverse talent pipeline and fund social justice organizations for more than 40 years. This group is now partnering with our U.S. businesses to drive an inclusive recovery from the pandemic centered on racial equity.
Our public voice on this topic is not new. Just last year Prudential funded a documentary, Legacy Lives On, on historic social and economic injustices that have influenced today’s financial realities for the Black community. Earlier this year, I joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Commission with a special focus on building an equitable recovery in light of the disproportionately negative health and economic effects of this pandemic on our state’s working class, our Black, Hispanic and immigrant residents, and those struggling against poverty.”