Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, in an allegedly strong economy, workers at the bottom of the opportunity scale were struggling to support themselves and their families – let alone build wealth. Divisions in wealth between men and women, and between white households and households of color, are particularly striking consequences of structural discrimination and occupational segregation. The pandemic has exacerbated and heightened awareness of these inequities, and there is a mounting sense of urgency to find practical solutions. Broadening opportunities to participate in business ownership can help address this wealth divide and offer working people the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the success of the economy. In addition, employee share ownership can help strengthen job quality and worker agency while contributing to business performance, so that businesses and workers succeed together.
Drawing on recent research, this issue brief – co-authored by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, and the Democracy at Work Institute – makes a case for why policymakers, funders, and investors who care about racial and gender wealth equity should support employee share ownership. Informed by a roundtable discussion which brought together researchers, philanthropic leaders, investors, policy experts, and advocates, the paper provides a set of concrete policy and practice ideas to expand employee ownership and advance equity and economic justice. We hope this paper contributes to a broader collaborative effort to spread employee share ownership policies and practices that support economic recovery and lay the foundation for a more equitable and resilient economy.
Tweet This issue brief by @AspenWorkforce, @Aspen_BOI, @RU_SMLR, and @Institute_coop outlines why policymakers, funders, and investors who care about racial and gender wealth #equity should support #employeeownership.