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As the 2022 proxy season kicks off, we are seeing a rise in more than just springtime temperatures. A record-breaking number of ESG-related shareholder resolutions than ever before will come up for votes during annual meetings. For some of the "E" issues, the momentum is clearly on their side — the recent SEC changes on climate disclosures have emboldened climate activists — but even a ruling against California's board diversity requirements isn't deterring the push for better practices around DEI. 

It is impressive how many investors have embraced the idea that the role of a shareholder comes with a responsibility: to the company, and to yourself, but also to the society and planet that we all call home. Big changes can happen when these perspectives make it into the boardroom, and with younger, ESG-minded generations increasingly joining the ranks of shareholders, we are excited to see where the next rounds of proxy voting can take us. 

 
 
 
 
FEARLESS FEATURE
 
 
 
 

Tech legend Dame Stephanie Shirley’s story is familiar to Be Fearless readers: rescued from Nazi-occupied Vienna by the Kindertransport program, she sought to "make my life one that was worth saving” from a young age. In 1959, after earning an advanced mathematics degree, she started a software company where she pioneered everything from employing married women to working from home. She was extremely successful, in part — she said — because she often used the pseudonym “Steve” to help her overcome many of the challenges she faced in the male-dominated field. Now 88 years old, she’s devoting herself to venture philanthropy to give back. When asked by the Financial Times what sort of leader she aspired to be, her answer was simple: “To think for myself, but not of myself.”

 
 
 
 
IMPACT INVESTING
 
 
 
 

Starbucks Ends Stock Buybacks

In his first act since returning as Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz said the move “will allow us to invest more into our people and our stores — the only way to create long-term value for all stakeholders.”
 
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Big Impact from Small Climate VCs

The number of climate-focused VCs has doubled in the last two years, with most of the growth coming from early and seed-stage funds that are nurturing potentially transformative innovations.
 
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INCLUSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
 
 
 
 

More Girls Who Code

After a decade of teaching girls coding and other computer skills to close the gender gap in STEM, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani and CEO Dr. Tarika Barrett say the next step is changing the culture so that the growing number of women in tech feel comfortable staying in the field.
 
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Brewing for Black Beer Drinkers

The Chicago-based founders of Moor’s Beer don’t just want to brew a delicious beverage — they’re trying to create an accessible craft brewery experience for Black consumers, who are often on the periphery of craft beer culture.
 
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BEFORE YOU GO
 
 
 
 

The Forefront of FoodTok

Entrepreneur H Won Lee’s intricate ASMR videos of elaborate cooking techniques are pioneers in “FoodTok,” a TikTok trend for amateur chefs around the world.
 
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Ye Olde Publick Companies

What would some of the most recognizable corporate logos of today look like in the Middle Ages?
 
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