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[016]  What would you say if a CEO asked you that question?
Weekly updates on how the world's most influential companies are taking a stance on the issues you care about. If this was forwarded to you by <<First Name>> *hint, hint*, subscribe here.
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What would you say if a CEO asked you that question?

If your first thought was Nope! you certainly wouldn't be alone.

In a recent poll, participants were asked to rate the reputation of CEOs and 53% said "bad." It's particularly telling when you note that Americans say the most important traits for CEOs are: trusted, ethical, accountable, competent and respectable.

Seems like corporations have a lot of work to do.

I've been thinking about this trust factor as Exxon, like other oil and gas companies lately, prepares to face-off with its shareholders on the issue of climate change today, May 31st.

It certainly won't be the first time the company has faced pressure to address climate change. However with significant support for the proposal already in place, this year's shareholder meeting is expected to be more heated than ever.

The proposal put forth would require the company to transparently assess and implement measures that address risk from climate change. Shockingly, the company is urging investors to vote against the proposal, stating that they have already accounted for the impact and are committed to low-carbon resources.

In other words, "Trust me."


And Oil and Gas isn't the only industry affected by trust. There are ample examples, even in the headlines below—from Google's gender discrimination lawsuit to activists demanding that tampon companies be more transparent about ingredients.

It's simply not enough for companies and CEOs to say, "Trust us." We must hold them accountable.

As always, I'm curious to know your thoughts!

Nikita T. Mitchell
@NikitaTMitchell

P.S. ABL is hitting your inbox this morning instead of Tuesday due to Monday's holiday in the US. Hope you didn't miss me too much!

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IN THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER

First, a Smile  //  Headlines  //  Quote

Dutch for "beautiful child," Mooi Kind offers gender-neutral baby and toddler apparel and accessories. 😍😍

Interview with the founder:
What inspired you to veer towards genderless clothing for kids? Aesthetically, I’ve always opposed the stereotypes associated with children’s clothing. Walking into stores, it was like those stereotypes would smack you in the face with their blatancy. Being a new father, it went from unappealing to off-putting when shopping for my son.
Google's gender pay lawsuit continues.
Last week the company argued that it would be burdensome and challenging to provide the data requested by the Department of Labor, which is accusing Google for not paying women equally. The company says it would take 500 hours of work and $10,000 to provide the data requested, to which the DOL's attorney said, “Google would be able to absorb the cost as easy as a dry kitchen sponge could absorb a single drop of water.” //  GUARDIAN
 

Is she a lawyer or comedian?

Uber underpaid its drivers, and is fixing it.
Last week we found out that the company was paying millions of dollars in backpay to drivers in NY due to an error in the way it collected its fees. On the topic of trust... What's less interesting than this specific scenario is this article that reflects on the challenges Uber now faces in crises because of its "credibility drought." //  NEW CO SHIFT

Tech companies want surveillance reforms.
Google, Snap, Uber, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are among companies that are asking for Congress to pass reforms that provide more oversight for surveillance programs and allow companies to disclose more about the requests they receive for data. //  AXIOS

Period activists pushing for change.
Remember when we talked about how little tampon companies disclose about the ingredients for their products? Well, activists are demanding that companies such as Procter & Gamble (maker of Always and Tampax) and Kimberly-Clark (maker of Kotex) disclose the chemicals and materials in their feminine care products. //  NY TIMES

Ben and Jerry's fights for marriage equality.
Well known for its political activism, the company is refusing to sell two scoops of the same ice cream in Australia until there is marriage equality. "Love comes in all flavours!” 🙌 🌈 //  QUARTZ
"When a company’s well of good will has run dry, it stops getting the benefit of the doubt; it pays the doubt’s full price, every time.” 
- Scott Rosenberg, NewCo Shift

In case you missed a recent email:

[014]  Big Oil vs. Trump
[015]  Short and sweet: 3 articles for your week 
[016]  What companies are worthy of your talent?

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