Society is asking the private sector to play a larger role in advancing equity. For the second year in a row, respondents to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer ranked business as the most trusted institution over government, NGOs, and media. Leadership in addressing societal issues and reducing inequities is now seen as a core function of business.

But companies cannot address issues of equity through “business as usual.” Companies must be in relationship with the problem. They need to foster trust and nurture authentic relationships with the communities experiencing the inequities. They need to leverage their engines of innovation. Most of all, they need to push beyond the obvious as they identify specific domains where they can have the most impact.

In our recently released guide, Centering Equity in Corporate Purpose, we put forward five practices for placing equity at the center of corporate purpose. The first practice—new materiality—helps companies identify the equity issues that matter to their business. The second practice identifies and prioritizes “equity domains”—the specific dimensions of equity where a company can create the most change, on its own and through industry and cross-sector collaboration. Selecting equity domains requires that companies think holistically and challenge themselves to avoid cherry-picking domains that are simpler and require less change from current modes of operating. Pushing beyond the easy and obvious answers will surface opportunities to create new value in areas that are core to the company’s current business and in new areas of operation and sources of value for the company.

Read the full article about health equity by Nikhil Bumb at FSG.