Johnson & Johnson shareholders vote for racial impact audit – Corporate Secretary – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Johnson & Johnson shareholders have voted for the company to commission an independent assessment of its effects on racial matters – the latest company to feel investor pressure on that front.

According to an SEC filing, almost 63 percent of votes cast at the company’s April 28 AGM backed a proposal urging Johnson & Johnson’s board to ‘oversee a third-party audit… which assesses and produces recommendations for improving the racial impacts of its policies, practices and products, above and beyond legal and regulatory matters.’

The proponent Mercy Investment Services asks that input from stakeholders, including civil rights organizations, employees and customers be taken into account in determining the specific matters to be assessed in the audit.

‘Addressing systemic racism and its damaging economic costs demands more than a reliance on internal action and assessment,’ Mercy Investment Services writes. ‘Audits engage companies in a process that internal actions alone may not replicate, unlocking hidden value and uncovering blind spots that companies may have to their own policies and practices. Company leaders are not diversity, equity and inclusion [(DE&I)] experts and lac

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