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SEC Upholds As You Sow DEI Resolution at Eli Lilly

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled against drugmaker Eli Lilly’s attempt to exclude a resolution filed by shareholder activist group As You Sow from its proxy statement. The resolution asks Eli Lilly to report to shareholders on the effectiveness of the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts by releasing quantitative metrics on its hiring, retention and promotion of employees, including data by gender, race and ethnicity. Eli Lilly unsuccessfully sought to exclude the shareholder resolution on grounds of substantial implementation and interference with its ordinary business. “There are many benefits to fostering a workforce that attracts and retains the best talent and is reflective of the diversity of our society,” said Meredith Benton, Workplace Equity Programme Manager at As You Sow and Founder of Whistle Stop Capital. “Our recent report analysing 277 EEO-1 reports shows an association between companies having a more diverse workforce and outperformance on key financial metrics.”

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