Caterpillar Asked To Audit DEI Initiatives By Activist Shareholders

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Washington, D.C. – Shareholder activists with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) will present a proposal at Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s annual shareholder meeting addressing discriminatory Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies and their impacts on merit-based hiring and promotion.

Activists Request An Audit Of Caterpillar’s DEI Initiatives

FEP’s proposal at Caterpillar (Proposal #9) requests that the Board of Directors commission an audit analyzing the impacts of its DEI policies on civil rights, non-discrimination, returns to merit, and Caterpillar’s business overall. The proposal also requests that a report on the audit be made available on Caterpillar’s website.

“Under the guise of ESG, corporations have allocated significant resources and attention toward implementing social justice into the workplace,” said FEP Associate Ethan Peck. “Across the political spectrum, all agree that employee success should be fostered and that no employees should face discrimination, but there is much disagreement about what non-discrimination means.”

“Many companies – including Bank of America, American Express, Verizon, Pfizer, CVS and Caterpillar itself – have adopted DEI programs, trainings and officers that seek to establish racial and social ‘equity,'” said Peck. “But in practice, what ‘equity’ really means is the distribution of pay and authority on the basis of race, sex, orientation and ethnicity rather than by merit.”

“Where adopted, such programs have raised significant objections, including the concern that the programs and practices themselves are deeply racist, sexist, otherwise discriminatory and potentially in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” added Peck. “And that by devaluing merit, corporations have sacrificed employee competence, morale and productivity on the altar of ‘diversity.'”

Caterpillar’s annual shareholder meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 14 at 8:00AM CT and can be viewed here.

More information about this proposal, as well as other key shareholder meetings and proxy votes for this week, can be found in FEP’s weekly proxy votes newsletter.

The Free Enterprise Project’s new Proxy Navigator Annual Voter Guide can be downloaded here.

To be notified when the companion Proxy Navigator app is available, subscribe here.

About The National Center for Public Policy Research

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations.