Our key takeaway: The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has come back with its first Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) since 2017… and the results are mixed. While many companies have made at least some progress since the previous benchmark, “the overall pace of improvement remains too slow.” The assessment highlights “the failure of many companies to involve rightsholders effectively and meaningfully throughout key parts of their process to respect human rights,” a fundamental part of conducting meaningful human rights due diligence. The WBA’s gender benchmark, in its second year, likewise highlights mixed progress. While many companies are putting in place policies and grievance mechanisms for issues like harassment and violence, they are failing to disclose the effects in practice. In addition, companies are treating issues like parental leave as a benefit rather than a right. Across both the CHRB and gender benchmark, companies are setting high standards for their suppliers on human rights and gender equality, and then undermining them by continuing to use harmful purchasing practices. Yet the CHRB demonstrates that change is possible: 12 companies have made significant progress, transforming their practices over the past six years. Other companies can reach this level of performance through five core “calls to action”: (1) Ensure allocation of resources, train all employees on human rights, identify and assess human rights risks and improve the quality of grievance mechanisms. (2) Clearly assign responsibilities for human rights and offer tailored human rights training for different roles, “with companies that do both outperforming their peers by 150%.” (3) Prioritise consultation with affected people, a fundamental need to ensure that their input feeds company practice on the human rights issues that affect them. (4) Relatedly, “grievance mechanisms need to be a two-way street and involve rightsholders in the entire process, in line with the UNGPs.” (5) Ensure “an enabling environment and adequate support” for suppliers to implement the standards companies set for them on human rights and gender equality, through responsible purchasing practices and supply chain mapping. Investors can support progress in these areas by engaging with companies on these topics at early stages of assessment and investment.