Founded in 1970, Western Digital has its headquarters in the US. The company is a leading manufacturer of data storage devices. It operates in more than 30 countries and has over a dozen manufacturing and product assembly facilities.
The company demonstrates support for open source initiatives with a commitment and membership in a range of standards organisations. It follows best practice by reporting the number of women it employs in tech roles. Western Digital also supports the tech start-up ecosystem through its venture capital fund and its Data Innovation Bazaar.
Western Digital has an opportunity to report participation and impact metrics for its digital access initiatives. The company should also report the number of people with disabilities it employs and how the economic value it generates is distributed among its stakeholders.
Western Digital can improve disclosure of how it monitors and responds to security incidents and make its information security management certification public. Further, as a digital company, Western Digital should make a high-level commitment to child online safety.
The company has an opportunity to enhance support for open and inclusive innovation through different initiatives, such as disclosing information on the ethical guidelines it follows for research and development (R&D). Western Digital also has the opportunity to support entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Western Digital commits to respecting human rights. The company identifies, assesses and takes action to address salient human rights issues in its own operations and in its business relationships. However, Western Digital does not disclose if it engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be impacted by its operations. The company has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
Western Digital publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. The company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours, and it is not explicit in requiring its business relationships to make this commitment. Moreover, it does not provide information on whether it pays its workers a living wage or its commitment towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Western Digital has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. However, the company’s disclosed tax strategy is only applicable to its UK operations and it does not disclose its income tax payments for all of its individual tax jurisdictions. Furthermore, the company does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. It has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions and it only discloses its lobbying expenditures for its US operations.