Fastenal Co.: Report on Diversity of Company Workforce
BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors issue a report to shareholders by 180 days after the 2019 Annual Meeting, at reasonable expense and excluding confidential information, assessing the diversity of our company’s workforce.
Proponents recommend that the assessment include,
metrics on the percentage of gender categories for global operations, and the standard EEO-1 racial and ethnic group categories for U.S. operations, disaggregated, at a minimum, into management (Executive/Senior-Level, and First/Mid-Level Officials) and non-managerial employees (all other EEO-1 Standard Occupational Classifications);
the amounts of any legal or regulatory fines and settlements associated with diversity issues; and
a description of our policies and programs for fostering diversity of employees across our global operations.
WHEREAS: our company’s business success depends upon a customer-facing sales force, comprising 74% of our roughly 20,000 employees;
Workforce diversity and inclusion, reflecting possible discrimination based upon gender, race and ethnicity is a significant policy issue;
Underrepresentation of women and minorities in management structures can result in allegations of discriminatory labor practices, including those related to promotions and wages. The resulting lawsuits can both eat into the thin margins of this industry, as well as cause reputational damage for the responsible companies;
The U.S. population is currently undergoing a massive demographic shift, with an increase in minority populations;
Distributors that respond to this demographic trend and employ staff who will be able to recognize the needs of these populations may be better able to capture demand from these segments, which can provide companies a competitive advantage;
Our company’s website states that our company supports diversity in hiring:
As a service-focused business, we’re dedicated to creating a diverse workforce that reflects our customer base and the world at large. We value diversity and encourage minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply for positions;
Yet our company’s disclosures do not provide metrics enabling shareholders or other stakeholders to assess progress in meeting these values.