BlackRock leverages its managed assets to coerce corporate change via proxy votes and other channels to accomplish its goals related to climate change, racial equity, and gender identity. BlackRock is an advocate for the Equality Act and funds Planned Parenthood. It has denounced state legislative efforts to reform its electoral process in 2021. The company also does not have viewpoint protections for its employees. The asset manager will use discretion in lending to ban certain industries, such as guns/ammo and oil and gas, in some cases. For these reasons, BlackRock receives a "High Risk" rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
BlackRock received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. Among other requirements, this means BlackRock has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (1). More importantly, as an asset manager, BlackRock consistently leverages its funds to pressure companies towards change around issues like racial equity, gender diversity, and climate change (2)(3). If a company is noncompliant, BlackRock takes action to vote against Board Members, bring shareholder resolutions on behalf of all of their clients (regardless of those clients’ potential disagreements), and more. In 2018, after the Parkland shooting, BlackRock de-listed retailers that sell ammunition from some of its mutual funds (4). BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, unabashedly promotes his viewpoints and thrusts them onto companies via financial threats, proxy votes, and signaling in his regular letters to CEOs (5)(6).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
BlackRock created a foundation in 2020 to distribute charitable funds. It matches employee donations to four contribution categories: education, health and human services, environmental, and arts and culture. Nonprofits that do not match these criteria are ineligible for the employee gift matching program, and this consequently includes many religious organizations (1). It does not unilaterally discriminate against faith-based organizations, however. BlackRock’s foundation does not prohibit donations to religiously affiliated organizations (2).
Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.
BlackRock does not protect its employees against viewpoint discrimination (1).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
BlackRock is an advocate for the Equality Act and also denounced state election integrity efforts (1)(2). BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that “climate risk is investment risk” and has used this justification to impose strict ESG requirements on all of BlackRock’s clients (3). BlackRock also has an internal racial equity task force that has allegedly instituted racial hiring quotas (4).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
BlackRock funds abortion travel and expenses for its employees (1). While BlackRock has not funded ideological organizations or causes, BlackRock does consistently use the funds it manages to actively transform other corporations in order to achieve immaterial goals such as climate change, racial equity, and gender identity. For its 2022 voting guidelines, BlackRock encourages companies in the U.S. to achieve at least 30% board diversity (min. 2 females, 1 “underrepresented group”) and companies in the UK to have at least 33% female directors and one director of color (2). For companies that do not meet its ESG requirements, BlackRock has threatened to sell its existing shares (3). For example, if a company does not meet its diversity hiring quotas, BlackRock has threatened to vote for pay cuts to executives’ salaries (4). In 2021 alone, BlackRock voted against 1,862 board members at 975 companies for “lacking racial diversity” (5). BlackRock even has a racial equity task force that conducts “racial equity audits” (6).
BlackRock imposes carbon-neutral goals and climate disclosures, as well as other Paris Climate Accord requirements, on some of its Western clients and index funds but not in China (7). BlackRock has pledged to vote against directors at companies simply because of a low score in BlackRock’s own proprietary environmental rating system (8). Its ESG metrics account for news/media controversy that could even lead to a company’s removal from an index. In 2021, BlackRock held 2,300 conversations with corporate executives regarding climate issues and voted against 255 corporate directors, and did not support management at 319 companies due to climate-related issues (9). Furthermore, BlackRock used its 5% ownership of ExxonMobil to aid in the hostile shareholder takeover at ExxonMobil in June 2021 (10). It aims to make the energy company carbon neutral.
Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.
BlackRock has a record of making political contributions in a bipartisan manner consistent with business interests without ideological intent (1).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
March 21, 2023
Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer