As the coronavirus continues to harm economic well-being around the world, particularly for the owners and employees of small or informal businesses, it’s important for corporations to continue to serve their full set of stakeholders – including their employees and the communities where they operate.
I want to say how proud I am of what BlackRock’s employees have accomplished over the past four weeks. While helping our clients – from pension funds and governments to insurance companies and individuals saving for retirement – navigate some of the most volatile markets in our lifetime, our people have also rebuilt BlackRock beyond the walls of BlackRock. Today, more than 90% of our employees are working remotely and they are staying as connected to one another and to our clients as they ever have.
We are committed to making sure our people have the support they need during this time. All our employees have the flexibility to take off as much time as they need to care for themselves, their family or a loved one. We’ve also told our people that we aren’t going to make any layoffs this year as a result of COVID-19. Moreover, the BlackRock community includes the individuals who play essential roles supporting our facilities, like cafeteria workers and maintenance staff. We’ve told them that even if they can’t come to work, we will continue to support them with full-time pay during this time. Lastly, we look forward to welcoming to BlackRock the summer interns and full-time graduate analysts to whom we’ve already extended offers. We will continue to manage our business and shift resources around to best serve our clients as we always do, but no one at BlackRock should be worrying right now about losing their job as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to our employees and our clients, we want to make sure we are doing what we can to support the communities where we operate. We have committed $50 million in charitable funds to the immediate relief of those who are most affected right now. We are directing this to front-line healthcare workers – the true heroes of today – and also to help address the financial hardship and social dislocation that this pandemic brings in its wake, as families grapple with job disruptions, school closures, unexpected childcare and medical costs. In addition to the $18 million we announced last month, we have since contributed an additional $6 million for food banks and community organizations in America, Europe and Asia.
Many of our own people are also stepping up to support emergency relief in their own communities. To amplify these important efforts, we have doubled BlackRock’s match for employee contributions to their local organizations addressing the crisis in their communities.
The virus is a global threat that requires a response from every segment of society. We’re committed to doing everything we can to serve all our stakeholders in the face of this unprecedented challenge. It has become clear over the last few weeks that no one will be safe from the effects of this illness, until everyone is safe from it.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn on April 8, 2020. To learn more about our response to COVID-19, please visit BlackRock’s corporate website.