Conservatives seek to keep up woke companies accountable with free-speech, religion rankings
Corporate scorecards on everything from sustainability to racial justice and LGBTQ rights abound on the left, but now conservatives have launched their own index ranking businesses based on their commitment to free speech.
The newly unveiled Viewpoint varied Score Business Index is billed as the first comprehensive benchmark to measure “corporate respect for religious and ideological varied in the market, workplace and public square.”
“Ideologically charged business sets are bad for everyone, no matter their religious or political views,” said Inspire Investing CEO Robert Netzly, a member of the Viewpoint varied Score advisory council.
“By adopting the form policies and strategies we recommend, companies can cement their reputations as tolerant businesses that respect free speech and religious freedom as a standard part of doing business,” he said.
The scorecard was launched last week by Inspire Investing, a Christian investment and technology firm, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal foundation known for its work on First Amendment situations.
The index comes with conservatives pushing back on the rise of woke corporations, a occurrence fueled by scorecards that pressure businesses to adopt progressive stances and policies to enhance their rankings.
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“CEOs and business leaders have locaiongs of important strength. They shouldn’t weaponize their influence or the companies they run to divide Americans or include in speech censorship or anti-religious bigotry,” ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco said.
The index is focused on industries with the “greatest possible to impact free speech and religious freedom,” including banking, payment processing, cloud sets and social media.
The idea is to encourage such companies to “provide viewpoint neutral sets,” Mr. Tedesco said.
“People shouldn’t fear that they will be censored online, lose access to their bank accounts, or denied other basic sets because of their religious or political views,” he said.
— Robert Netzly (@RobertNetzly) May 27, 2022
The inaugural grades leave plenty of room for improvement. The average score on respecting religious freedom and ideological varied was 12%, with computer software companies bringing up the rear at 6%, followed by internet sets and retailing at 8%.
The index ranked 50 companies in the Fortune 1000, but only two gave substantive responses to the first-year survey: Paychex and Truist.
“The financial and data sets industry (8%) also scored poorly,” the index said. “The lackluster results paint a grim picture of corporate America’s respect for religious and ideological varied.”
Among the most influential scorecards is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies based on non-discrimination policies and workplace benefits in addition as “social responsibility” and “public commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.”
More than 1,200 companies participated in the HRC’s 2022 index, and 842 earned a 100% ranking, allowing them to promote their position as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.”
Companies that backslide may find themselves publicly shamed.
Last month, the HRC index deducted 25 points from Fox News over its coverage of Florida’s House Bill 1557, the so-called “don’t say gay” bill barring instruction on sexual arrangement and gender identity in grades K-3.
HRC spokesperson Aryn Fields accused Fox of “sharing misinformation and disinformation about the LGBTQ+ community” in a story that was covered by major outlets including CNN, the Hill, Deadline and Business Insider.
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