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This week, Mya Harris, a call center worker at federal contractor Maximus, won shareholder approval for a proposal requiring the company to conduct and publicly release the findings of a yearly racial equity audit. The audit will analyze the impacts of the company's internal and external business practices on workers, stakeholders, and communities of color that depend on their services. While it is unusual for corporate shareholders to approve worker-led proposals, Maximus workers who are organizing to form a union with CWA have been mobilizing to draw attention to racial equity issues at the company.
In its 2021 Annual Report, Maximus wrote, “We are proud to employ an organization within the U.S. that is very diverse. As of September 30, 2020, we were 71% female and 66% racially diverse.” However, none of the 24 executives identified as Maximus’ Executive Committee and Business Leaders is Black. The yearly audit is a big step towards holding one of the largest federal contractors in the country accountable for diversity at all levels of the company. In addition, the audit will help ensure the services that Maximus provides are free from bias by analyzing the impact the company's business operations may have on communities of color and what the company could do to mitigate any negative impact.