The corporate governance and executive experts said that a push to attract diverse and young talent and global consumers is backing some corporate U.S. residents to express on politically charged issues such as the new voting law of Georgia. Furthermore, the last month’s decision of the Georgia government to support ID requirements for absentee votes and make it an offense to offer food and water to voters waiting in line for their turn, among other changes, the law drew criticism from a number of American companies like Citigroup and Microsoft Corp, this week.
Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian Condemned Georgia’s new Election
Several U.S. companies say it excludes some voters. Some companies, like Coca-Cola Co. and Delta Air, based in Georgia, where state representatives have the authority to raise state taxes. Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, said in an open memo that his decision to raise his voice was conversant by discussions with the employees and leaders in the American Black community.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has condemned Georgia’s new election law as “unacceptable” in a memo circulated to staff on Wednesday, claiming that the “entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie” about widespread voter fraud in 2020.
It’s key that he referenced the lie.
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) March 31, 2021
So far, the big companies condemning the voting law represent a silver of the United States business landscape. However, they are part of a mounting group of companies peeling their unwillingness to express politically controversial social matters that matter to a large number of their employees and customers internationally, according to some business leaders.
On Thursday, the former CEO and chair of BET Networks said in an interview that young adults want more than words; they demand action. Likewise, ViacomCBS criticized the new Georgia vote law. Investors are focusing on social, governance and environmental issues like climate change and the #MeToo, and the Black Lives Matter movements also encouraged companies.
Some companies that are unwilling to criticize specific policies and laws still agree to emerge with more general statements; for example, Approximately 330 of the five hundred companies in the S&P 500 Index issued comments the previous year backing social justice in the wake of the George Floyd death, a Black American, in the custody of Minneapolis police, according to As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group.
Ford Motor Co’s Political Action Committee is Resuming making Political Donations
However, this approach doesn’t always mollify activists aiming for a bigger change. The racial justice initiative coordinator, Olivia Knight, said that companies usually didn’t offer to follow through with any action and that several limited to unclear statements of support. Reuters reported on Thursday that the political action committee of Ford Motor Co is recommencing making political donations.
It announced that it would not exclude making donations to Republican representatives who voted against the election certification of U.S. President Joe Biden on 6th January. Ken Chenault, the former American Express Co CEO, who co-authored a letter with other business leaders of Black community leaders this week calling on firms to condemn the new voting law of Georgia, stated in an interview that some companies might be uncertain about raising their voice for fear of appearing partisan.
However, he noted that over sixty big American companies recently signed a statement to oppose state bills focused on sexual orientation, showing a willingness to consider at least some topics. Chenault says that in the fight on voting bills, they are in the initial stages.
Consumers and Workers
Raising a voice against politically sensitive issues can be risky. Shares of some western apparel firms plunged after they faced boycotts in China over their statements stating worries about labor conditions amid investor concerns they would lose access to a massive, growing market. But companies that spoke out against the new voting law of Georgia saw a slight impact on their share price.
A Columbia Business School professor, Shivaram Rajgopal, who follows corporate cultural matters, said that now corporate America is focusing on satisfying its capable young workers, who are nowadays more politically active on social media. Rajagopal said that the younger workers expect you to take a stand on these issues regarding social justice.