Published in The Wall Street Journal

By Miriam Gottfried

A group of large private-equity firms has agreed to get stock into the hands of more employees at companies they own in an effort to address income inequality. A coalition of more than 60 groups that also includes banks, pension funds and others has signed on to back a new nonprofit aimed at promoting broad-based stock ownership, officials told The Wall Street Journal.

Ownership Works, as the new organization is known, will help companies roll out share-ownership programs for employees from top executives to lower-level workers. It launches Tuesday with a goal of creating at least $20 billion in wealth for low- and middle-income employees over the next decade. Ownership Works will set standards for designing ownership programs and advocate for more widespread adoption of them, as well as promote financial-literacy training and employee-engagement efforts…

…Others joining with the organization include United for Respect, which has led worker campaigns against private-equity-backed companies, Omidyar Network and the Ford Foundation. “We need to design into capitalism policies and structures that generate more shared prosperity,” said Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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