Tories seek to hold woke companies accountable for free speech and 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 indexing companies based on their commitment to free speech .

The recently unveiled Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index is billed as the first comprehensive benchmark to measure “business respect for religious and ideological diversity in the marketplace, workplace and public square.”

“Ideology-laden corporate services are bad for everyone, regardless of their religious or political views,” said Inspire Investing CEO Robert Netzly, a member of the Viewpoint Diversity Score advisory board.

“By adopting the model policies and strategies we recommend, companies can cement their reputation as tolerant companies that respect free speech and religious freedom as an integral part of doing business,” he said. declared.

The dashboard 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 cases.

The index comes with conservatives pushing back against the rise of woke companies, a phenomenon fueled by scorecards pushing companies to adopt progressive stances and policies to boost their rankings.


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“CEOs and business leaders occupy positions of considerable power. They should not weaponize their influence or the businesses they run to divide Americans or engage in censorship of speech or anti-religious bigotry,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.

The index focuses on sectors with “the greatest potential to impact freedom of expression and religious freedom,” including banking, payment processing, cloud services and social media.

The idea is to encourage these companies to “provide perspective-neutral services,” Tedesco said.

“People should not fear being censored online, losing access to their bank accounts or being denied other essential services because of their religious or political views,” he said.

The inaugural ratings leave plenty of room for improvement. The average score on respect for religious freedom and ideological diversity was 12%, with software companies trailing at 6%, followed by Internet services and retail at 8%.

The index ranked 50 companies in the Fortune 1000, but only two gave substantial first-year survey responses: Paychex and Truist.

“The financial and data services sector (8%) also performed poorly,” the index said. “The lackluster results paint a bleak picture of corporate America’s respect for religious and ideological diversity.”

Among the most influential scorecards is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies on non-discrimination policies and workplace benefits, as well as ” social responsibility” and “public commitment to the LGBTQ+ community”.

More than 1,200 companies participated in the 2022 HRC Index, and 842 achieved a 100% ranking, helping them promote their status as one of the “Best Workplaces for LGBTQ+ Equality”.

Companies that back down can find themselves publicly shamed.

Last month, the HRC Index deducted 25 points from Fox News for its coverage of Florida’s House Bill 1557, the so-called ‘don’t say gay’ bill banning instructions on sexual orientation and identity. gender in grades K-3.

HRC spokeswoman Aryn Fields accused Fox of “sharing misinformation and misinformation 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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