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Robin DiAngelo. Wikipedia

Corporate America goes ‘woke’

A special event held on Friday in San José, California, offered a foretaste of the anti-white bias of corporate culture. The "Silicon Valley Leadership Group", an interest group founded in 1978 made up of over 350 Californian companies, held the so-called "Diversity Forward Summit".

Published: February 24, 2021, 10:52 am

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    San José, California

    At the event, the first twenty companies and institutions that want to commit to the so-called “25 × 25 agreement” in the future were announced. The “25 × 25” is not just any association, but a concrete vision for the future. According to the group, the change to “diversity, equality and inclusion” will be promoted with ambitious goals.

    The agreement provides two options: Either the company undertakes to have at least 25 percent of its managers as “underrepresented people (people of color/women)” by 2025. Or the company undertakes to increase the number of “underrepresented people” in its management positions by at least 25 percent by 2025.

    The field of activity of the signatories is wide-ranging: The list includes large tech companies (Twitter, Facebook, Zoom, Western Digital, Equilar), airlines (United Airlines, Alaska Airlines), universities (Foothill De Anza College, Santa Clara University ), a bank (Silicon Valley Bank), a financial service provider (Listo), an electronics company (Flex), a photonics company (Lumentum), a newspaper (San Francisco Chronicle), a football club (San Francisco 49ers), a civil rights organization (NAACP), a lobby group (Silicon Valley Leadership Group), a think tank (Bay Area Council), a hospital (Stanford Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital) and a solar cell manufacturer (SunPower).

    Companies know, said the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Ahmad Thomas, at the event, “that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of business competitiveness, innovation and a stronger social fabric”. At the same time, the event also demonstrated how far the arm of the large corporations extends. US Senator for the State of California, Alex Padilla (Democratic Party), congratulated the organizers for the initiative.

    However, such quotas, which override the performance principle, are not an isolated case: The fast food chain McDonald’s threatened its executives not to pay out all their bonuses if they do not hire more minorities in higher positions in accordance with the new company policy. Apart from the mission to achieve gender parity by 2030, McDonald’s aims to “increase historically underrepresented groups in leadership roles (senior directors and above) in the US to 35 percent and the representation of women in leadership roles to 45 percent worldwide” by 2025.

    In addition, the Goldman Sachs bank no longer participates in IPOs of companies in which the supervisory board consists only of white people. Other institutional investors, including State Street Global Advisors and BlackRock, have made statements about the need for “diversity” and certain “climate goals” in the companies in which they invest.

    This week, a Coca-Cola company employee leaked videos and pictures of a training program asking participants to “be less white” in order to combat racial discrimination. In an online seminar for Coca-Cola employees, none other than Robin DiAngelo appears in the video. The 64-year-old is considered a pioneer of the “Critical Race Theory” and founded the concept of “White Fragility”, which puts all white people under suspicion of racism.

    Coca-Cola has meanwhile confirmed in a vague statement that although the video can be accessed via the Coca-Cola training program, it is not part of the curriculum.

    In California, the monitoring of this supposedly racially “just future” has taken over in parts of the state. Governor Gavin Newsom (Democratic Party) had already signed a law on September 30, 2020 that requires California-based listed companies to have at least one board of directors that belongs to an “underrepresented community” by the end of 2021. California no longer has a white majority. It is now about “individuals who identify as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska, or who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender”.

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