Fair360 2022 Top 50 Event: The DEI Leaders Guide on Presenting to ESG-Focused Public Boards

As more companies embrace environmental, social and governance (ESG), shareholders have sparked interest in these efforts and want to know how and why companies are doing so and how they are supporting their people.

From left: Anita Ricketts, Fair360, formerly DiversityInc; Christine Maginnis, Hilton; Mitch Toomey, BASF; and Elena Richards, KPMG

During a panel discussion titled “The DEI Leaders Guide on Presenting to ESG-Focused Public Board” at the 2022 Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 event, Christine Maginnis, SVP, HR Strategy, Analytics and Technology at Hilton, said her company’s board wants to understand Hilton has ambitious ESG goals that are achievable. Communicating to board members on tangible goals, benchmarks and showing the company has the right people in place helps build a narrative that is easy for board members to follow, Maginnis said. 

KPMG is a people business, so focusing on the “Social” or “S” portion of ESG is very important for the company and its board. Elena Richards, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the company, said the company likes to focus on the “S” in ESG by focusing on the four P’s: People, the Planet, Prosperity and the Principles of Governance.

Elena Richards, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, KPMG

While these things are important to the board, they are also important to the organization as a whole. 

“When you think about the impact that we have and the legacy of this organization, we really are trying to put that front and center,” she said. 

That social part of ESG also has to focus on having conversations that might be uncomfortable, Mitch Toomey, Director of Sustainability at BASF, said. His company did a series on difficult conversations. The murder of George Floyd really brought to light the need for these conversations, he said. 

These conversations allowed employees to understand the experiences and hardships people of color face and to discuss how to change racial inequity in the workplace and in society, he said.

Watch the full session below!

Christine Maginnis, SVP, HR Strategy, Analytics and Technology, Hilton
Mitch Toomey, Director of Sustainability, BASF