Today Carta launched Equity 101—a free, interactive course designed to help everyone learn the fundamentals of equity. The course breaks down the basics of equity into 10 interactive lessons, covering the fundamentals including receiving a grant, selling shares, and taxation.
At our core, we at Carta, together with our customers, are on a mission to create more owners. But sadly, more than half of vested options go unexercised. The fair market value of vested, unexercised options on Carta that expired in 2021 was $580M. This means employees are leaving half a billion dollars of potential wealth—and opportunity—on the table.
When we spoke with employees about this problem, we found a fundamental need for more education around equity. Many employees don’t know that they have to exercise their options in addition to having them vest. Many employees don’t know that when they leave a company, they only have a certain amount of time after leaving to exercise their options. Many employees are uncertain about the tax implications of exercising or selling their options. And worst of all, many employees don’t know where to turn to find the answers to their questions.
So we created the foundational course that answers these questions for employees, reviewed by leading equity experts like Joseph Blasi, professor at Rutgers University and director at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing; Dr. Corey Rosen, founder, National Center for Employee Ownership; and Felice Klein, Ph.D, professor at Boise State University and author of “The Gender Equity Gap.”
And this is just the start.
While employee ownership is now the standard in Silicon Valley, it is becoming more common outside of the Valley, too. Harley Davidson, Fireclay Tile, and Chobani all have programs to give employees equity. KKR hopes to make all employees of their portfolio companies owners. And for her latest film, Zendaya made sure everyone involved could own equity in the project.
Highlighting stories of ownership outside of Silicon Valley can help more employees see ownership as an option for them. Today we are also sharing the stories of six individuals as they started their own journey of learning about equity. These people have reached the peaks of their respective domains, and they all had to learn about equity from the same starting place we all do—the beginning.
Thank you to Serena Williams, Kerry Washington, Tan France, Alex Rodriguez, Ashley Graham, and Steve Nash for sharing your unfiltered stories with the world. And a very special thank-you to the experts who generously offered their time to review the Equity 101 curriculum:
- Joseph Blasi, Professor at Rutgers University and Director at Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing
- Dr. Corey Rosen, Founder, National Center for Employee Ownership
- Frank Shipper, Professor at Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University
- Daphne Berry, Professor at the Barney School of Business at University of Hartford
- Felice Klein, Ph.D, professor at Boise State University, author of The gender equity gap
- Kim Blaugher, Executive Director at The Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management
- Chris Cooper, Director, Ohio Employee Ownership Center
- Angelina Grigoryeva, professor at the University of Toronto
- Jegoo Lee, professor at the University of Rhode Island College of Business