It’s been a long time since companies could remain neutral, silent bystanders on the most pressing issues of our time.
When the football player Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 during the national anthem to protest police brutality, the brands he worked with were forced to decide whether they would support him and the cause, or part from someone they deemed controversial and could alienate potential customers.
Employers face a similar decision today. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, employers are forced to ask themselves: if they can stay out of the biggest political and social issues of our time, should they?
This has become such a pressing question because of the backdrop the decision is set against. The seismic shift to working from home has blurred the lines between professional and personal lives. Add to that the importance Millenials and Gen Z— the largest cohorts in today’s workforce — place on an employer’s values and how it supports issues like DEI, sustainability and giving back to the community. They regularly report that those are among the most important factors in choosing an employer.
This is all exacerbated by the historically tight labor market, which is compelling employers to stand apart from competitors seemingly in any way they can.
“This is not a fight employers can or should stay out of, especially companies that claim to care about their employees’ well-being,” said Lauren Nutt Bello, managing partner and president of Ready Set Rocket, an NYC-based digital ad agency.
For the full story first reported on and published by Digiday sibling WorkLife, click here.
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