BOSTON -- Boston-based Trillium Asset Management Corp., a "change-oriented social investment" firm, has proposed that The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) prepare a report on diversity within the company's workforce, according to The Home Depot's preliminary proxy statement.
Atlanta-based Home Depot says this is the ninth time such an initiative has been proposed and it has only mustered about 25 percent of the vote. The company steadfastly opposes the idea. Trillium, which holds 2,000 Home Depot shares, obviously thinks it's worth another try.
Trillium argues that a good EEO record will benefit the company economically, in terms of recruiting and retaining employees, and will make the company more responsive to its diverse customer base. Trillium points out that the company has paid out more than $100 million to settle discrimination lawsuits in the last 14 years.
The diversity report would identify employees according to gender and race, summarize affirmative action policies, especially those aimed at increasing minority participation in management.
The Home Depot recommends a no vote on the proposal, as the company already provides an Inclusion Council, a hotline to promote the concerns about conduct and ethics, and a management team focused on inclusion. The Home Depot has affirmative action programs in all of its 2,200+ stores and files a standard EEO-1 report.
Trillium is led by Matthew W. Patsky, CEO and senior portfolio manager. The Home Depot is led by Frank Blake, chairman and CEO since 2006.