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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Three institute-associated experts provided analysis for the July 30 edition of WRAL-TV’s “On the Record” news program. In a segment on dwindling child care options in the Raleigh area, Director of Research Paige Ouimet talked about how child care access affects the ability of women to work.

Seventeen states have enacted salary transparency laws to combat pay gaps historically experienced by people of color and women, but the laws take different forms and have produced varying results. How does requiring companies to provide summary salary statistics compare with, for example, preventing companies from asking applicants about their previous salaries? Can such laws actually work against employees? Two experts address these questions and more in this week’s Kenan Insight.

With the school year winding down, we invited Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Fellow and UNC-Chapel Hill Public Policy Research Professor Iheoma Iruka to join us for a discussion on the business of childcare and early education – as well as the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted families’ expectations and workers’ needs

Female involvement in the workforce remains important to the U.S. economy, but COVID-19 has only exacerbated a drop in participation rates. To reverse the trend, businesses are enhancing maternity leave, child care services and access to fertility and family-planning services, according to research by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School experts.

We examine the effect of pay transparency on gender pay gap and firm outcomes. This paper exploits a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender disaggregated wage statistics. Using detailed employee-employer administrative data and a difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities designs, we find the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing the wage growth for male employees.

Firms continue to strive for greater representation on corporate boards. One California law, attempting to mandate such greater representation, has encountered a recent setback. Two experts discuss obstacles to more diverse corporate leadership and offer approaches for surmounting them.

On Tuesday, March 29th, First Citizens Bank Vice Chairwoman Hope Bryant joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for a fireside chat. Bryant discussed the history of First Citizens Bank, the impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce and her experiences as a woman in a leadership position.

Stakeholder Capitalism

Greater focus on social justice has brought systemic inequities in the corporate sector to light, leading companies to step up their efforts in attracting and retaining a diverse workforce – but many challenges remain in implementing those goals. Following a joint report between the Kenan Institute and EY, this week’s Kenan Insight breaks down some challenges companies may face while trying to reach their diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

The Institute for Private Capital’s newly-released interactive model that aims to help private equity leaders assess diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals was featured in a report by Ernst & Young.

While the gender pay gap has received significant attention in recent years, little progress has been made to close it; in fact, in 2019, women still earned only 82 cents for every dollar received by their male counterparts for equal work. Policymakers in recent years have developed creative solutions aiming to close the gap, including bans prohibiting employers from asking for a job applicant’s salary history. However, in this week’s Kenan Insight, new research from our experts examines whether such well-intentioned bans are inadvertently lowering wages for all employees.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for many, research shows its impact was not felt equally. Black Americans experienced disproportionate health and economic ramifications, which compounded the financial, social and psychological strain many felt pre-pandemic, and have contributed to growing inter-generational wealth disparities. In today’s Kenan Insight, our experts explore whether the multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” plan proposed by the Biden administration holds the potential to begin closing pervasive gaps in American society.

Much has been written about the disproportionate number of women who have suffered pandemic-related job losses during COVID-19, but a related consequence has not been as well explored: the serious disruption of women’s careers, particularly in fields in which “path dependence” matters for success. In this Kenan Insight, we examine this more subtle asymmetry in the pandemic’s impact as indicative of far broader issues for women’s advancement in the workplace.