5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 5

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. The Impact Overturning Roe v. Wade Would Have on America

 An initial draft opinion written by Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito to overturn Roe v. Wade has been leaked, and America has been flooding social media on the topic of pro-life versus pro-choice. 

If the law is overturned, matters of abortion would be put in the hands of the states and would give state governments the right to make abortion illegal. States that would likely ban abortion include Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska. 

Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, said in a Tweet that the reversal of the law could lead to the Federal government’s overturn of other laws protecting human rights. Women of color would be affected the most if Roe v. Wade is overturned as more Black and Hispanic women receive abortions than their peers. There are also higher poverty rates among women of color, which could make it difficult for women to travel out of state for an abortion. 

Overturning this law would also have a large impact on transgender people. Alexis Rangel, a policy counselor at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), told NPR that the decision would impact “trans men and nonbinary folks who need access to reproductive healthcare and abortion specifically.”

2. DiversityInc Unveils 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity

At its 21st annual event at Cipriani’s Wall Street in New York City on May 3, DiversityInc, producers of the most prestigious corporate diversity, equity and inclusion ranking for U.S. employers, announced its Top 50 Companies for Diversity list for 2022. 

The Top 10 companies on the list are: 

  1. Accenture
  2. Mastercard
  3. Abbott
  4. Toyota Motor North America
  5. Eli Lilly and Company
  6. The Hershey Company
  7. Comcast NBCUniversal
  8. TIAA
  9. Humana
  10. Medtronic

To view the entire Top 50 list and specialty lists, visit http://www.diversityinc.com/top50 and follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #DITop50.

After ranking #1 in 2021, Hilton ascended to the Hall of Fame, joining AT&T, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, EY, Kaiser Permanente, Novartis, Sodexo, and PwC.

3. Experts Discuss the Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health and Seeking Help

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which is a time to seek help and support others and their mental wellbeing. 

The month started out with the unfortunate news of the death of Naomi Judd sparked further conversation around the topic. While Judd was a mental health advocate, she was also struggling herself. 

It is important to recognize the signs of someone who might need to talk to a professional about their mental health, especially when it comes to someone who might be thinking about suicide. Visit MentalHealth.Gov to read some of the signs. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Nathaniel Clark told the Tennessean that it is also important to take a careful approach to discuss one’s mental health. He added that understanding mental health is a “powerful tool”

“The more we know about mental health and psychiatry and the more we talk about it … really helps to reduce stigma,” he said. 

Deon Aaron, a licensed clinical social worker with Mid-State Counseling and Recovery Service, told KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas, that Mental Health Awareness Month is a good time to seek professional help and encourage others to do the same. 

“To let people know it’s ok to get help with their mental health, and that paying attention to how they feel and their thoughts, it’s ok,” he said.

4. Top 50 Panels Focus on Communicating and Presenting ESG

During two of many panels and discussions at the DiversityInc Top 50 event, experts from top companies for diversity discussed how they are communicating ESG to public boards, the workforce, talent and supply pipelines. 

When it comes to communicating ESG to public boards, Christine Maginnis, SVP, HR Strategy, Analytics and Technology at Hilton, said her company’s board wants to understand Hilton has ambitious ESG goals that are achievable. This can be done by communicating tangible goals, benchmarks and showing the company has the right people in place helps build a narrative that is easy for board members to follow. 

Many companies are looking to become carbon neutral with the goal of achieving net zero by a certain date. To achieve this goal, all companies need to work together, said Orlan Boston, Americas Sustainability ESG Market Leader at EY.

Dr. Alveda Williams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Dow, said these efforts are attainable and accountability is needed to make them a reality. Remind leaders and employees about DEI and ESG goals, she said. Reminders hold people accountable and help them achieve their goals.

Check back to DiversityInc in the coming days for more coverage of the event.

5. Study Shows Company Boards are Still Disproportionately White Despite Diversity Efforts

Many companies and organizations are focusing more on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and making progress, yet many company boards in the U.S. are still predominantly White. 

Data firm Equilar recently released a report showing the racial breakdown of the boards of companies on the Russell 3000 Index, which covers approximately 97% of all investable stocks in the U.S.

The survey showed that only 6.2% of directors on boards are Black compared to 13.4% of the country. Only 5% of directors are Asian or Pacific Islander compared to the 6.1% in the entire U.S. population. 

Bigger companies tend to be more diverse than smaller companies, but more and more companies are reporting more on the racial breakdown of their boards because they are being forced to by stock exchanges, regulators and investors. 

Nasdaq is one U.S. securities regulator asking for more transparency. It ruled last summer that U.S. companies listing on the exchange must file a document annually that details the racial and ethnic background of its directors along with other demographic data.

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