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In a series of influential studies, McKinsey (2015, 2018, 2020) report a statistically significant positive relation between the industry-adjusted EBIT margin of global samples of large public firms and the racial/ethnic diversity of their executives. However, when we revisit McKinsey’s tests using recent data for US S&P 500® firms, we find statistically insignificant relations between McKinsey’s inverse normalized Herfindahl-Hirschman measures of executive racial/ethnic diversity and not only industry-adjusted EBIT margin, but also industry-adjusted sales growth, gross margin, ROA, ROE, and TSR. Our results suggest that despite the imprimatur often given to McKinsey’s (2015, 2018, 2020) studies, caution is warranted in relying on their findings to support the view that US publicly traded firms can deliver improved financial performance if they increase the racial/ethnic diversity of their executives.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellision shared the company's approach to diversity, equity and inclusion following this past summer’s social unrest. In this conversation-style format, Mr. Ellison gave a brief overview of Lowe’s anti-racism statement and reviewed specific actions the company has taken to combat racism and inequality. He shared insights on his hands-on leadership approach and how it impacts his relationships with employees and his success at Lowe’s.

In a recent UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School profile, Dr. Jim Johnson, director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated Urban Investment Strategies Center, talks about his journey to fulfill his mission to make a difference in young lives.

CREATE Executive Director Mark Little and Institute of African American Research Director Karla Slocum have been honored with a UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for their partnership as co-chairs of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration

Join NCGrowth, the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to explore how economically mindful heritage placemaking is taking shape in Black communities across the country.

This symposium is brought to you by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University for a singular purpose, to address inequities in corporate systems and the role we can play as conduits for change.

Black Communities Conference 2021 will be a vibrant, virtual gathering featuring roundtable discussions, collaborative sessions, films, book talks and more. Our core mission is to foster collaboration among Black communities and universities for the purpose of enhancing Black community life and furthering the understanding of Black communities.

We measure the racial/ethnic densities (RAEDs) of executives in a random sample of 523 US publicly traded companies and the S&P 500®. When we calibrate the RAEDs of executives as a whole against the RAEDs of the 2019 US population, we find that American Indians/Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented and Whites are overrepresented. However, when we calibrate executive RAEDs against a benchmark that seeks to take into account key features of the demand for and supply of proto-executive talent, namely the RAEDs of the cohorts of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the broad New York Times 2017 list of the top 100 US four-year colleges and universities, matched to executives’ BA/BS graduation years, mostly different and at times opposite findings obtain.

Most organizational leaders have come to recognize that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a business imperative. But many struggle to achieve their diversity goals. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how organizations can measure their “organizational equity” — that is, their internal distribution of power and resources — and build a diverse workforce that leads to greater organizational success.

The factors that determine our health go far beyond what happens in the doctor’s office. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how the physical well-being of many Americans has been placed in jeopardy by upstream social and economic factors such as racism, food and job insecurity, and a lack of community and social support systems.

The nursing profession in the United States was experiencing a labor shortage and facing diversity and inclusion challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnifying these problems was a shift in the nation’s population, both geographically and demographically. The result was changes in both where nurses are needed in the healthcare system and the nursing skill set required to address healthcare needs of a far more diverse clientele of patients—in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, living arrangements, socioeconomic status and primary language.

American Indian communities face a growing housing crisis, compounding long-standing social and economic challenges. In this Kenan Insight, we examine the structural and historic factors that underlie the current lack of affordable housing, and identify several promising options for both addressing the immediate crisis and improving the broader economic situation for tribal communities.