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Corporate America’s “Woke Report Card”

Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2023
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by Andrew Abbott
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Corporate America Wokeness Report Card

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

Amid the ongoing backlash against Bud Light over the brand’s partnership with controversial TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, many Americans are asking why some of the world’s largest companies are committing acts of seeming self-sabotage in order to align with radical left-wing social politics. While there are undoubtedly a multitude of factors driving this phenomenon, one major reason for corporate America’s descent into wokeism – like Bud Light’s Mulvaney partnership – is the “Corporate Equality Index” (CEI), a sort of “woke report card” published by the far-left Human Rights Campaign that goes hand-in-hand with so-called “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG investing and can earn companies lucrative financial commitments from woke investment banks.

The Human Rights Campaign has long been one of the most powerful LGBTQ lobbying groups in the world, and enjoys millions of dollars in funding from liberal mega-donors like George Soros. The organization’s Corporate Equality Index, which debuted in 2002, is billed as “the premier survey benchmarking tool on how corporations across the United States and beyond are adopting equitable workplace policies, practices and benefits for LGBTQ+ employees.”

The most recent edition of the CEI report boasts that “a record-breaking 842 businesses met all the criteria to earn a 100 percent rating and the designation of being a 2022 ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality,’” compared to just 13 companies that earned such distinction twenty years ago. Fifteen of the top Fortune 20 companies received perfect scores last year.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, companies earn better CEI scores by taking “concrete and dedicated steps to establish and implement comprehensive policies, benefits, and practices that ensure greater equity for LGBTQ+ workers and their families.”

In practice, this means relentlessly pushing the latest ideological fad on the cultural left, from “gender affirming care” to child drag shows.

Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney is exactly the sort of activity that could earn the company a higher CEI score – which in part explains why Mulvaney has enjoyed lucrative deals with other brands as well, including Nike’s women’s clothing line, women’s fashion company Kate Spade, and Ulta Beauty.

Many brands have also gone to great lengths – including alienating their customers – in order to win the approval of the CEI graders. According to the New York Post, companies can earn up to 50 points by covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for employees. “Marketing or advertising to LGBTQ consumers,” like Bud Light’s Mulvaney partnership, is worth 20 points.

Meanwhile, a company can lose CEI points if it does not meet the Human Rights Campaign’s standard for “integration of intersectionality in professional development, skills-based or other training” or if it doesn’t use a “supplier diversity program with demonstrated effort to include certified LGBTQ+ suppliers.”

Political podcaster James Lindsay has compared the CEI to a Mafia-style extortion racket, revealing that the Human Rights Campaign “sends representatives to corporations every year telling them what kind of stuff they have to make visible at the company. They give them a list of demands and if they don’t follow through there’s a threat that you won’t keep your CEI score.”

This woke racket is enforced in large part by major investment banks like BlackRock and Vanguard, who have made a commitment to ESG investing that is based in part on companies’ CEI ratings. A high CEI score means that a company is more likely to earn investment dollars from BlackRock or other investment banks. A low CEI score, meanwhile, means that the BlackRocks of the world will starve that company of funding in accordance with ESG dogma.

But as companies descend even further into the woke morass, consumers are increasingly deciding they’ve had enough. In addition to Bud Light, many Americans are boycotting Disney, which has for years openly injected wokeness into its children’s programming. Two major Disney films marketed heavily with LGBTQ+ characters were box office bombs, costing the studio almost half a billion dollars combined. The company’s streaming platform also lost almost 2.5 million subscribers in the final months of 2022.

Meanwhile, brands that have promised to reject wokeism have seen record growth. Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire, which has pledged a $100 million investment in politically neutral children’s programming, recently crossed 1 million subscribers. A new beer called “Ultra-Right,” which pledges to be “woke free,” has also had record sales since the Bud Light controversy began.

Major corporations thus find themselves staring down a crisis of their own making. If they continue to embrace wokeism, they risk alienating large swaths of their customers and drastically impacting their bottom line. But if they refuse to toe the progressive party line, they risk angering liberal interest groups like the Human Rights Campaign and their woke investor overlords – whom they themselves empowered in the first place.

 

See Corporate Report Card Here

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.

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OldConservativeGuy
OldConservativeGuy
1 year ago

Let’s see. Better CEI scores and worse sales, profits, and employment. I wonder what shareholders think??

Judith OBrien
Judith OBrien
1 year ago

I would like a list of companies and businesses that subscribe to woke just so I won’t accidently support them in any way.

USN Retired
USN Retired
1 year ago

Even the new “Little Mermaid” is now black. I will not support any company that feels it necessary to join the left wing communist movement. This is a stab at moralities, just as the Bolsheviks did in early Russia. If you don’t mind, or are accepting of this “woke” crap, then learn to fall in line as a good little communist. Otherwise, boycott these people and stand up for justice, conservatism and morality.

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts
1 year ago

This helps explain why 90% of commercials feature minorities and LGBTs notwithstanding that they are just that….in the minority.

matt
matt
1 year ago

These companies with their woke agendas and their commercials, which would lead one to “believe” that there are only minorities buying products, are not helping to improve racial harmony in our country. Apparently they and their advertising agencies do not realize that no one likes to have anything shoved in his/her face constantly. Perhaps these companies do not need my money. Apparently money is the only morality these companies have. My family and I will no longer give them our money.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

This story is just another proof that the WEF, CEI, ESG, WOKE, Blackrock, Vanguard Great Reset agendas are incompatible with American values, freedoms and our Republic. Why then will neither my Senators, Rubio and Scott and my Congresswoman Laurel Lee or The National GOP answer my emails and tweets requesting their positions on the Great Reset?

Mike Nugent
Mike Nugent
1 year ago

Keep strong, don’t go woke. Our country is at a crossroads.

Nadene
Nadene
1 year ago

Black mail crime

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

There aren’t enough homos in this country to support all these companies exclusively. They are alienating 90% plus of their customers, despite the fact their balance sheets will suffer. A 100% score for bowing to the homos won’t do much when they go bankrupt. Very stupid.

Garyk
Garyk
1 year ago

List everyone of these anti American woke companies, expose them all and Americas real Patriots can BOYCOTT them out of business!
Any company who buys into the far left marxist democrat BS should go to China!
Bye-bye traitors!

Jake
Jake
1 year ago

Look at insurance companies; Farmers Board of Governors supports BLM, where USAA is donating $50 million to support all kinds of diversity programs! I’ve just dropped them after 47 years. Buh-bye!

Ritchie Kernighan
Ritchie Kernighan
11 months ago

Blackrock and Vanguard are NOT Investment Banks. They are fund managers. Most should have heard of Vanguard Funds. They are well known for the innovation of low annual cost funds, as well as for ETF. It is quite true that Blackrock supports ESG, but Vanguard, according to news, has largely abandoned support for this ESG movement. But either way, it is totally wrong to say that either of these giant fund managers is an investment bank. They do not decide whose public offering to run, or whether to be part of their selling group.

Wayne Shannahan
Wayne Shannahan
1 year ago

Describe “woke.” For that matter, describe “conservative.” You probably can’t properly describe either, or for that matter other terms like “liberal,” “progressive.”

Woke is an infectious mind-virus that targets undereducated, lower intelligence far-right reactionaries.

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