ASU+GSV: Gayatri Agnew on the reckoning that corporate America is facing

WorkingNation interviews leaders in public, private, and nonprofit spheres attending the ASU+GSV Virtual Summit as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard campaign

The pandemic has had a damaging effect on the economy, says’s Gayatri Agnew, but as the country assesses its recovery strategy post-pandemic, racial inequality will be corporate America’s main reckoning.

WorkingNation interviewed Agnew for #WorkingNationOverheard as a media partner with ASU+GSV’s Virtual Summit 2020, held September 29 through October 1+October 8. You can watch all of the interviews on our YouTube channel.

Walmart, the largest private sector employer in America, “really leaned in to moving the needle on racial equity,” says Agnew. But not just within the organization. She says the company reached out to its community during recent times of crisis, hiring laid off restaurant workers and others.

She says that companies across the nation need to step up if there’s going to be an inclusive recovery.

“I think the first thing that needs to happen is we really need to start seeing one another not through the lens only of where we work and what we do, but the communities in which we live, and that includes employers and employer behavior.”

She says companies need to be transparent about disclosing data around mobility of the workforces, “around the racial and gender composition of our workforce, about sharing progression from, you know, frontline roles, hourly wage roles, to salaried roles, really showing what career paths exist within different companies, or how those companies are partnering with other companies to create paths for workers.”

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