in

Why American Companies Are Suddenly Keeping Quiet on Social Issues

Why American Companies Are Suddenly Keeping Quiet on Social Issues
Announcement


Announcement
A man wears a “Stop Woke Indoctrination” sticker at CPAC 2023.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Almost Friday! Yesterday, I asked you if TikTok should be banned in the US. More than 60% of readers said they support the ban.

In today’s big story, we’re looking at how Corporate America is rethinking its sustainability and diversity efforts amid a push to avoid being labeled “woke.”

What’s on deck:

But first, let’s not talk politics.


If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.


The big story

The great un-wokening

Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

“Go woke, go broke!”

The rallying cry against companies’ progressive campaigns is starting to leave a mark on Corporate America.

After years of big promises and grand plans around social issues like diversity and sustainability, companies have taken a noticeable step back, Business Insider’s Emily Stewart writes.

DEI and ESG — the two acronyms at the center of these debates — are MIA, according to data Emily got from FactSet. Mentions of ESG on fourth-quarter earnings calls in 2023 compared to 2020’s Q4 dropped more than 78%. DEI’s decline was even larger during that time frame, falling 88%.

The so-called “great un-wokening” in the business world could be a product of the current economy.

Announcement

When business was booming and stocks were only going up, companies were happy to talk about how they planned to improve the world.

But it’s not 2021 anymore. Interest rates are a long way from zero, and the threat of a recession still feels very real. Rather than stick their neck out for causes that could alienate customers, companies are just worried about keeping their heads above water.

The shift from businesses touting progressive ideologies hasn’t always led to a boon for conservative ones.

An “anti-woke” bank backed by Peter Thiel closed three months after it was founded. And right-leaning companies that went public amid the SPAC frenzy haven’t soared.

Trump Media, former President Donald Trump’s social media company, has managed to maintain a lofty valuation that seems to confound even bankers. But it hasn’t come without plenty of volatility.

Meanwhile, those caught up in the public fight against “woke capitalism” are trying to rebound.

Take Bud Light. The backlash from the beer brand’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney cratered sales and AB InBev’s stock. Layoffs ensued.

Things have settled down more than a year later, but scars remain. The stock is still shy of where it sat before the controversy. But Kid Rock, who filmed himself shooting cases of the beer, seems to have come around on the brand, so there’s that.

Corporate America’s approach going forward might be to avoid politics altogether, especially in an election year, in an attempt to stay above the fray.


3 things in markets

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images;Chelsea Jia Feng/BI
  1. A banker’s untimely death raises questions about Wall Street’s working conditions. A 35-year-old Bank of America associate who was a Green Beret died after closing a deal. Now Wall Street is questioning the onerous demands of the industry, where 100-hour-plus weeks can be the norm. 
  2. The best of Warren Buffett. The legendary investor discussed AI fraud, fiscal woes, and bad bets at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. Here are 15 of his top quotes from the event
  3. China’s central bank is on a gold-buying spree. According to official data released on Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China loaded up on the precious metal for the 18th straight month in April. It’s trying to push back against the soaring US dollar, which is making it too expensive for Beijing to import goods.

3 things in tech

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Apple; Chelsea Jia Feng/BI
  1. Viewers are not pleased with Apple’s iPad ad. The video shows a pile of creative tools — cans of paint, a piano, a trumpet, books — slowly crushed in a hydraulic press and replaced by an iPad. In a rare misstep for Apple’s advertising, the video hit a nerve for people concerned about tech replacing human creativity.
  2. Merit raises are back at Microsoft. After freezing salaries last year, the company plans to restart performance-based raises for some employees during this year’s review cycle. The past year has been marked by internal dissatisfaction over pay.
  3. Tesla’s hiring freeze. The electric car maker axed more than 3,400 job postings in North America down to just three on Wednesday. The move comes as Elon Musk’s company presses ahead with layoffs in a bid to cut costs and reassure investors.

3 things in business

Getty; BI
  1. Where are all the TikTok buyers? Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt decided against buying the company, leaving a really tiny list of people who say they want to buy TikTok. It could (theoretically) be Steve Mnuchin or Kevin O’Leary, but that’s about it. We have some theories
  2. Google is capitalizing on the TikTok ban. According to an internal document, Google is telling salespeople to highlight the possibility that TikTok could be banned in the US. It’s an attempt to nudge advertisers to spend more on YouTube. It also comes as YouTube tries to capitalize on its status as the top streamer
  3. The dark heart of modern chess. Thanks to the pandemic’s forced isolation and the Netflix smash hit “The Queen’s Gambit,” the game has never been more popular. But chess’s ugly side has also never been more exposed — it’s a cheater’s paradise that’s mired in rampant sexism, BI’s Rob Price writes. 

In other news

What’s happening today

Announcement

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. George Glover, reporter, in London.



Source link

Announcement

What do you think?

Written by Politixia

Announcement
Announcement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Announcement
Under Cross-Examination, Michael Cohen Spills About His Past With Trump – Mother Jones

Under Cross-Examination, Michael Cohen Spills About His Past With Trump – Mother Jones

‘Amazed at the diversity of values’

‘Amazed at the diversity of values’