Legg Mason Partners With Ascend, 100+ Corporations and Non-Profits to Combat Bias and Stigma Associated With Novel Coronavirus

Diversity Champions Collaborate to Address Social and Economic Impacts on Vulnerable Communities
May 7, 2020 9:30 AM ET
Press Release

BALTIMORE, May 7, 2020 /3BL Media/ - Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM) is partnering with Ascend, the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals and executives in North America, and a large number of other business and non-profit organizations to address the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ascend has launched a consortium with the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), Catalyst, The Conference Board, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Organization on Disability (NOD), Out & Equal, Tanenbaum and 90+ supporting companies, including Legg Mason, to address the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ascend has called on its members, partners and associates to affirm its 5-Point Action Agenda:

  • Promote Inclusion: Advocate for a diverse and inclusive workplace and society.
  • Raise Awareness: Highlight the unique impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups.
  • Denounce Bias: Encourage individuals to report virus-linked discriminatory acts against Pan-Asians and other targeted groups and communities in the workplace and in public.
  • Support Communities: Contribute time, knowledge and / or other resources to aid frontline workers, COVID-19 victims and families.
  • Give Donations: Provide funds and / or other resources to support vulnerable populations of people and impacted businesses.

Ascend’s 10 organizations advocate for members of underserved communities that are particularly vulnerable to public health crises and economic downturns. Together, they pledge to combat stigma, biases associating Pan-Asians with the novel coronavirus, and all forms of discrimination based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and veteran status. Each of its organizations has delivered COVID-19 programming including educational webinars and executive town halls, employee resource group (ERG) support programs, engaged in fundraising efforts to support front line workers and procure PPE, and published resource guides to assist diverse groups. Additionally, it is working with key CEO-driven coalitions such as CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to advance awareness and education of virus-linked bias at the highest levels of the business community.

To date, over 90 companies from many sectors have joined to support the Action Agenda in addition to Legg Mason. The list includes Accenture, Adobe, AlixPartners, Amazon, American Airlines, American Express, AT&T, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Bayer, BBVA, BDO USA, LLP, BNY Mellon, Boeing, Capgemini, Campbell Soup Company, Capital Group, Capital One, The Carlyle Group, Cisco, The Coca-Cola Company, CohnReznick, Cox Enterprises, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank USA Corp, DLA Piper, DSM, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), East West Bank, Edward Jones, Equilar, ExecComm LLC, Expedia Group, Experian, E4H Environments for Health Architecture, EY, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Interpublic Group, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lockheed Martin Corporation, L'Oréal, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Lululemon, Manulife & John Hancock, Marriott International, Inc., MassMutual, McCormick & Company, Medtronic, Mercedes-Benz USA, Merck, MetLife, Micro Focus, Misumi USA, Morgan Stanley, NBA, Novartis, Palo Alto Networks, Panasonic Corporation of North America, PepsiCo, Pfizer, PIMCO, Procter and Gamble, Protiviti, Prudential Financial, PSEG, Publicis Groupe, PwC, RSM US LLC, RBC, Sanofi, Scotiabank, Sodexo, Sun Life, Synchrony, TPG, Uber, UBS, Under Armour, United Airlines, U.S. Bank, U. S. Steel, Walmart, Wells Fargo and WNBA.

"We applaud the 100+ companies and organizations collaborating with us to drive actions that safeguard protections for diverse groups and underrepresented employee segments," said Anna Mok, President, Ascend. "This commitment reinforces the importance of our 5-Point Action Agenda. We call on additional companies and organizations to join this consortium and help us accelerate progress together."


About Ascend and Ascend Foundation
Ascend (@AscendLeader) is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals and executives in North America. Established in 2005, Ascend, a career lifecycle organization, reaches 60,000+ senior executives, professionals, and MBA/undergraduate students involved in its 50+ chapters in the United States and Canada. The Ascend Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Pan-Asian organization primarily engaged in research with a mission to advocate, enable Pan-Asian business leaders to reach their full potential, and provide scholarships to honor students who demonstrate scholastic excellence, leadership, and commendable community service. Visit www.ascendleadership.org for more information.

About Legg Mason
Guided by a mission of Investing to Improve Lives™, Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE:LM) helps investors globally achieve better financial outcomes by expanding choice across investment strategies, vehicles and investor access through independent investment managers with diverse expertise in equity, fixed income, alternative and liquidity investments. Legg Mason’s assets under management are $731 billion as of March 31, 2020. To learn more, visit our website, our newsroom, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Contact Information

Legg Mason:                                                                          Ascend:
Lisa Tibbitts                                                                                  Peyen Fong
+1 (212) 805-6039                                                                         +1 (212) 248-4888
ltibbitts@leggmason.com                                                       programs@ascendleadership.org