Episode 14: Employee Ownership - Reducing Inequality and Building Assets

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Summary

We hear a lot about the the rising level of economic inequality in our society, the increasingly precarious nature of employment, and the difficulties of saving for retirement. What we hear about much less is the how employee owned firms, in particular companies with Employee Stock Ownership Plans, can help address these an many other issues by helping workers build wealth - broadly defined. In this episode we sit down with two senior researchers and Kellogg Fellows Janet Boguslaw and Lisa Schur, and talk about a recent report they co-authored that focuses on these questions: Building Assets of Low and Moderate Income Workers and Their Families - The Role of Employee Ownership. We discuss  how employee ownership can help low and moderate income employees build assets as well as recommendations they have to expand the sector and spread the benefits of employee ownership to a larger share of workers.

*The report discussed in this episode was made possible through the generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Learn more about how the Kellogg Foundation is supporting research on employee ownership here

Guest Bios

Janet Boguslaw

Dr. Janet Boguslaw is a Senior Scientist at the Heller School and Institute on Assets and Social Policy,Brandeis University and is a Kellogg fellow at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University. Dr. Boguslaw is an educator and researcher with expertise in multi-sector innovations to advance equitable economic opportunity and security for low-income populations, with a goal of bringing innovative program and policy solutions to scale.  Her current work at Heller examines job quality and equitable career advancement strategies to increase racial and gender diversity in employment. At Rutgers she is examining the life course impacts of employee ownership with a focus on its role in reducing gender wealth inequality.

Lisa Schur

Lisa Schur is a Professor and past Chair of the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. She is also a Faculty Fellow and Kellogg Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley and a J.D. from Northeastern University. Her research focuses on the economic, political, and social inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly their political participation and employment experiences and outcomes.  Her research focuses on disability issues in employment and labor law, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act and its relationship to other laws and social policies. She also studies alternative work arrangements such as contingent work, and the connections between workplace experiences and political participation.

In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals, she wrote an invited White Paper on Disability and Voting for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, and co-authored the book People with Disabilities: Sidelined or Mainstreamed? published by Cambridge University Press.  

About the Podcast

The Owners at Work Podcast is a continuation of the biannual Owners at Work Newsletter which ran for 19 years (1990-2019). We are hoping to continue the same conversations and focus on providing updates on everything employee ownership. We plan to interview practitioners with expertise in different facets of employee ownership, academics doing new and interesting research, and most importantly, individuals who have a personal experience with employee ownership, including current and former employee-owners, mid-level to C suite management, and selling owners.

We Want to talk to YOU!

We want to produce a show that engages with relevant questions and provides practical lessons and information. We want this podcast to include the voices of those who practice employee-ownership each and every day. To that end we want to hear from you! We want to highlight what you are doing, whether you are an employee-owned company, a practitioner, or researcher.

***Please reach out via email: oeoc@kent.edu

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