Workforce Disclosure Initiative

Improving data from listed companies on how they manage workers in their direct operations and supply chains.

137 investor signatories, with over $15 trillion AUM, back the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI). These investors are calling for transparency from companies on how they manage workers. 90 global companies disclosed to the 2018 WDI survey. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in companies’ operations and supply chains.

Click the buttons below to explore the WDI resources

Why this is important and what we’re doing about it

There are too many poor quality and precarious jobs around the world. The United Nations recognised this in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 8 calls for ‘decent work for all’. Multinational companies have a key role to play in meeting this goal. Through their operations and supply chains, they are responsible for the pay and wellbeing of millions of workers.

Importantly, it’s been shown that both companies and workers can benefit from creating better quality jobs.

As shareholders of these companies, institutional investors are well placed to make a difference. The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) mobilises these investors to push for better jobs. The first step is to make sure companies disclose comparable workforce information. Investors can then use this data to engage with companies and drive a race to the top.

The WDI brings investors together to request comparable data from companies via an annual survey. Its ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in multinational companies’ operations and supply chains.

The WDI is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and run in partnership with Canada’s Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). In addition, a range of civil society and private sector organisations are helping to shape the WDI. The initiative is also endorsed by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

Why this is important and what we’re doing about it

There are too many poor quality and precarious jobs around the world. The United Nations recognised this in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 8 calls for ‘decent work for all’. Multinational companies have a key role to play in meeting this goal. Through their operations and supply chains, they are responsible for the pay and wellbeing of millions of workers.

Importantly, it’s been shown that both companies and workers can benefit from creating better quality jobs.

As shareholders of these companies, institutional investors are well placed to make a difference. The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) mobilises these investors to push for better jobs. The first step is to make sure companies disclose comparable workforce information. Investors can then use this data to engage with companies and drive a race to the top.

The WDI brings investors together to request comparable data from companies via an annual survey. Its ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in multinational companies’ operations and supply chains.

The WDI is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and run in partnership with Canada’s Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). In addition, a range of civil society and private sector organisations are helping to shape the WDI. The initiative is also endorsed by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

The WDI is already providing real insights into how to enhance workforce reporting and incentivise best practice.

James Gomme

We believe integrating ESG issues into our investment process will lead to favourable long-term outcomes for our members. By collaborating with other investors through the WDI we want to encourage companies, both in Australia and further afield, to improve their reporting on workforce and supply chain related topics.

Liza McDonald

ESG investing has gone mainstream. Investor appetite for ESG data is growing, and for social data in particular. We want to access* reliable, relevant and comparable data on companies’ workforce, their suppliers and sub-contractors, and the WDI offers a great opportunity for us to access this data.

Sophie Deleuze  Senior SRI Analyst, Engagement Specialist, Candriam
Sophie Deleuze

Partners

Meet the WDI team

Aine Clarke

Engagement Officer - WDI
Aine Clarke

Aine Clarke

Engagement Officer - WDI

Aine works on the WDI team, engaging and developing relations with companies and investors to promote and standardise decent workplace and supply chain practices.  She has an M.A in International Political Economy from Warwick University and B.A in European Studies. Prior to joining ShareAction she worked as a research analyst at a financial research company and as operations manager in the sustainable resource economy.

Chara de Lacey

Chara de Lacey

Research Officer - WDI
Chara de Lacey

Chara de Lacey

Research Officer - WDI

Chara joined the Workforce Disclosure Initiative team in May 2019 to work on WDI reporting and support with research and analysis. She has worked for various human rights organisations including Advocates for International Development, where she led business and human rights capacity-building projects, and the International Bar Association. Chara is a UK-qualified solicitor (non-practising) and holds a LLM in Law, Globalisation and Development with distinction from SOAS, University of London.

Charlie Crossley

Project Coordinator - WDI
Charlie Crossley

Charlie Crossley

Project Coordinator - WDI

Charlie joined ShareAction in November 2015, working in the digital team. He moved to the Workforce Disclosure Initiative in late 2016. Previously he worked in a policy role focused on financial inclusion at Toynbee Hall. He has a First Class BA in Politics from the University of Sussex and an MA in International Relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

James Coldwell

Investor Engagement Manager - WDI
James Coldwell

James Coldwell

Investor Engagement Manager - WDI

James joined ShareAction in January 2017 as part of the Workforce Disclosure Initiative, an investor-backed programme to increase transparency and improve job quality in listed companies. He manages relationships with the institutional investors supporting the programme – currently 120 institutions with assets valued at $13.5 trillion – and ensures investors make the most of the WDI as a tool to engage with investee companies and improve disclosure. He previously worked for a social finance intermediary, and has been an elected councillor since 2016.

Keri Doogan-Turner

Keri Doogan-Turner

Events & Communications Manager
Keri Doogan-Turner

Keri Doogan-Turner

Events & Communications Manager

Keri joined ShareAction in August 2019. A History and War Studies graduate from King’s College London, Keri is passionate about human rights and sustainable development; areas of interest she built on through voluntary work with Unison, Liberty and Amnesty International UK. When not communicating about the benefits of effective democracy, she is a keen cook (and eater!), loves to travel, and consumes an unhealthy amount of news. 

Martin Buttle

Head of Good Work
Martin Buttle

Martin Buttle

Head of Good Work

Dr Martin Buttle joined ShareAction in September 2019 to manage our Good Work programme. He was previously Strategic Lead: General Merchandise at the Ethical Trading Initiative, leading ETI’s work on general merchandise (Cosmetics, Electronics Homeware), purchasing practices and new business models. Martin was Apparel & Textiles Category Lead from 2014 to 2018, responsible for ETIs programme work in South India, Turkey, and the UK. Martin has over 15 years’ experience in supply chain labour rights focusing primarily on clothing and textile sector in academia, consultancy and the non-profit sector. He holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham on Ethical Finance in the Social Economy.

Rachel Hargreaves

Rachel Hargreaves

Good Work Intern
Rachel Hargreaves

Rachel Hargreaves

Good Work Intern

Rachel joined ShareAction in April 2019 as an intern for the good work programme, assisting with tasks for both the WDI and the UK workforce campaigns. Prior to joining ShareAction, Rachel worked as a support worker for young adults with learning disabilities and has previously interned for a social housing organisation completing a short research project.

Rosie Mackenzie

Rosie Mackenzie

Company Engagement Manager - WDI
Rosie Mackenzie

Rosie Mackenzie

Company Engagement Manager - WDI

Rosie joined ShareAction in August 2018 to work as the Company Engagement Manager for the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI). As such, she coordinates the corporate engagement and support of companies taking part in the programme. She previously worked at CDP, the environmental reporting NGO, and she holds a BSc in Natural Sciences from the University of Bath.

Vaidehee Sachdev

Vaidehee Sachdev

Senior Research Manager - WDI
Vaidehee Sachdev

Vaidehee Sachdev

Senior Research Manager - WDI

Vaidehee joined ShareAction in November 2016. She is working on the new Workforce Disclosure Initiative building on ShareAction’s work on the Living Wage. She previously worked for a number of organisations including Global Witness, Womankind and Global Justice Now. She holds a BA in Philosophy and an MA in International Politics at Manchester University.

WDI Advisory Group

Alison Tate (shared role with Janet Williamson)

Alison Tate (shared role with Janet Williamson)

Director of Economic and Social Policy ITUC International Trade Union Confederation

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

Trade unions have always stood by the principle that labour is not a commodity. And yet the contribution of workers is all too often treated as a cost of business rather than a company’s greatest asset. Respect for worker’s rights should be the foundation of a sustainable business. It is extraordinary that in the 21st century, we still need to have a conversation about how responsible business and responsible investors should take labour rights into account in business and investment decisions. Workers are the key stakeholders in achieving a productive and sustainable business. Meaningful corporate disclosure should drive how companies are valued and how we all understand the growth of social and economic value. WDI is taking us in that direction.

Anna Triponel

Anna Triponel

Business and Human Rights Advisor

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

How can companies that are actively seeking to respect human rights in their business be rewarded? What pushes a company to change its practices and behaviours when it comes to human rights? How can one empower those working in companies pushing for greater respect for people? Access to finance is important for any company, and investors have a critical role to play in helping drive respect for human rights in the private sector. At the same time, it’s vital for investors to be mindful about their leverage: how can they combine their efforts to achieve more effective change? I am eager to push forward the thinking on how investors can combine their leverage strategically to support companies as they strive for greater transparency and robust human rights due diligence in their supply chains. Of course, I am also looking forward to working with the fantastic staff at ShareAction!

Bettina Reinboth

Bettina Reinboth

Head of Social Issues at Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

I like the multi-stakeholder nature of the WDI, and being part of the Advisory Group offers an opportunity to shape and ensure greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing between both investors and companies to drive the improvement of corporate disclosure and data collection. Reporting of social data is quite fragmented in terms of the information collected and published by companies, information collected by service providers and national and local reporting legal requirements. Investors are increasingly pushing for the need to harmonise expectations and frameworks in place in order to avoid reporting fatigue, but also to achieve consistency across the industry, and the I see the WDI as a positive effort in moving in this direction.

Dieter Waizenegger

Dieter Waizenegger

Executive Director at CtW Investment Group

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

Good workplace relations are critical for long-term corporate value creation. More transparency on workforce data is therefore important for investors. I support WDI as an important voice in this effort.

James Gomme

James Gomme

Director, Sustainable Development Goals at WBCSD

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

The WDI has not only identified an area of focus that is extremely necessary in the context of advancing some of the issues that sit at the heart of the SDG agenda, but has also set out to undertake this work in a highly inclusive and impactful manner which equips both the investment and business communities with practical tools that can help to drive real change.

Janet Williamson (shared role with Alison Tate)

Janet Williamson (shared role with Alison Tate)

Senior Policy Officer for Corporate Governance and Capital Markets at Trades Union Congress

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

Trade unions have always stood by the principle that labour is not a commodity. And yet the contribution of workers is all too often treated as a cost of business rather than a company’s greatest asset. Respect for worker’s rights should be the foundation of a sustainable business. It is extraordinary that in the 21st century, we still need to have a conversation about how responsible business and responsible investors should take labour rights into account in business and investment decisions. Workers are the key stakeholders in achieving a productive and sustainable business. Meaningful corporate disclosure should drive how companies are valued and how we all understand the growth of social and economic value. WDI is taking us in that direction.

Sumi Dhanarajan

Sumi Dhanarajan

Associate Director, APAC at Forum for the Future

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

My excitement at joining the WDI advisory group is in helping to strengthen investor engagement on securing decent and dignified employment in supply chains. I spent 10 years at Oxfam engaging clothing companies and supermarkets in various efforts to improve working conditions, both unilaterally and through initiatives like ETI.

Through my current role at Forum for the Future, based in my home region of SE Asia, I have the opportunity to engage with apparel manufacturers to understand the barriers and opportunities to ensuring workers rights are respected. This work has made me look closely at the systemic effects of disclosure as a tool for creating change in this domain, including the potential positive and negative feedback loops depending on the type of disclosure asked for.

Will Pomroy

Will Pomroy

Director, Engagement at Hermes Investment Management

Why did you join the WDI advisory group?

Social issues remain the most under-considered pillar of ESG. While in large part this is because of the way that human capital is accounted for, it is also caused by a significant lack of meaningful corporate disclosure on the topic. With all companies employing people it remains a paradox that there is such opacity in this area. The WDI can play an important role in building momentum towards improved disclosure of direct and indirect workforce matters.