SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
Income inequality is on the rise—the richest 10 percent have up to 40 percent of global income whereas the poorest 10 percent earn only between 2 to 7 percent. If we take into account population growth inequality in developing countries, inequality has increased by 11 percent.
Income inequality has increased in nearly everywhere in recent decades, but at different speeds. It’s lowest in Europe and highest in the Middle East.
These widening disparities require sound policies to empower lower income earners, and promote economic inclusion of all regardless of sex, race or ethnicity.
Income inequality requires global solutions. This involves improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, encouraging development assistance and foreign direct investment to regions where the need is greatest. Facilitating the safe migration and mobility of people is also key to bridging the widening divide. (UNDP, 2015)
Companies that are achieving this are:
Unilever Pte Ltd (NYSE:UL)
Industry: Food & Staples Retailing, Beverages, Food Products, Household Products, Personal Products
Headquartered in: UK
"Unilever is a Multi-National Company with huge markets and supply chains in many developing countries. Unilever has recently met its committment to pay all its employees a living wage. Its next goal is to "ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to Unilever will earn at least a living wage or income by 2030", with a specific focus on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture. At the same time, Unilever is supporting its small retail partners to grow. By 2025, it targets to "Help 5 million small and medium-sized enterprises in its retail value chain grow their business through access to skills, finance and technology".
Living wages and fairer access to opportunity will help break the cycle of poverty in the markets where Unilver operates, positively contributing to SDG 10 by improving equity and creating a more socially inclusive society.
At the same time, Unilever is committed to eliminating workplace inequality. It is increasing the representation of diverse groups in its advertising, targetting to have 5% of its workforce comprised of people with disabilities by 2025, and eliminating biases and discirmination in its practices and policies.
MasterCard works to reduce economic inequality through the “power of identity.” One such way is through efforts to extend identity to more women around the world. Nearly 2.4 billion people live without any form of official personal identification, and the majority of them are women. Mastercard stresses that proof of identity allows you to be counted and is therefore a critical, essential first rung on the ladder toward gender equality, independence, and greater economic agency and political voice. This is especially true considering that without proof of identity, it’s nearly impossible to receive government benefits.
They work with governments and NGOs around the world to help change this, such as in Nigeria where they partnered with UN Women to provide half a million Nigerian women with ID cards enabled with electronic payments functionality.
The company is also working with Mercy Corps to register 18,000 Nigerian girls and women to receive an eID card, giving most access to their first formal identity.
Industry: Financial services company
Headquartered in: US
Through L'Oreal's initiatives in diversifying employment, 100,905 people from underprivleged communities were reported to gain access to employment. A key driving initiative was their Solidarity Sourcing program, which directs a proportion of our Global purchases to suppliers who employ people from vulnerable communities to allow them to have a durable access to work and income. 1,381 people with disabilities are also reported to work for L'Oreal.
Industry: Personal Products
Headquartered in: France
Industry: Internet Services & Infrastructure, Technology Hardware, Storage & Peripherals
Headquartered in: US
In 2019, members of Cisco's Executive Leadership Team (ELT) reflected on their own social identities, explored how racism manifests in society and organizations, and discussed the role that leaders must play to mitigate it. They then conducted a session during which a group of African American/Black employees from all functions and levels of the company sat down with the ELT to share candid stories and feedback about their time at Cisco. This led to a 100-Day Sprint with the goal of creating solutions and experiences to tangibly improve the lived experiences, career trajectories, and representation across all levels of African American/Black talent at Cisco. Cisco has announced their intent to further increase the representation of African American/Black employees
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY)
Headquartered in: US
Lilly and the Lilly Foundation launched the Racial Justice Initiative, which aims to address racial inequality and injustices, starting with its Indianapolis community where its headquartered. For example, as part of the Indy Day of Solidarity: We Stand Together – the Lilly Foundation pledged $25 million and Lilly committed 25,000 volunteer hours over five years to decrease the burden of racial injustice and its effects on local and national communities of color.
At the same time, Lilly provides disaster relief to communitites through medical supply provision. Since 2009, Lilly has worked with global nonprofit Direct Relief to supply insulin and other medicines as part of their Hurricane Prep Packs, which are distributed in advance to health centers in hurricane zones throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lilly also donated insulin and other medicines to Direct Relief’s Strategic Emergency Stockpile initiative, which provides medical items that are urgently needed following disasters. In 2020, Lilly donated $12.9 million in product to Direct Relief’s disaster preparedness initiatives.
Industry: IT Consulting & Other Services
Headquartered in: Ireland
1. Accenture developed Drive, a learning and development program designed to enhance performance of U.S.-based African American and Hispanic American non-executive consultants; the African & Caribbean Network Accelerate Program, which helps African and Caribbean employees in the United Kingdom to achieve their full potential; and the Planning for Success Forum, a sponsorship program for all U.S.-based African American and Hispanic American managing directors that is focused on increasing the representation of diverse managing directors at the most senior levels 2. Accenture aims to increase racial diversity in its workforce overall and among managing directors, and roll out new mandatory training in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland— which will be rolled out in other markets—to support our people in identifying and speaking up about racism and reinforcing what we expect of them; and increased community investments to support economic inclusion