Wokism (Part 9) - DEI and ESG


Wokism (Part 9) - DEI and ESG Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 1. Definition A. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion (usually abbreviated DEI) refers to organizational frameworks which seek to promote "the fair treatment and full participation of all people", particularly groups "who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination" on the basis of identity or disability. These three notions (diversity, equity and inclusion) together represent "three closely linked values" which organizations seek to institutionalize through DEI frameworks. Some frameworks, primarily in Britain, substitute the notion of "equity" with equality: equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI). Other variations include diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI or EDIJ), or diversity, equity, inclusion and access (IDEA or DEAI). “Diversity refers to the presence of variety within the organizational workforce, such as in identity (i.e. gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, class etc.), age or opinion. Equity refers to concepts of fairness and justice, such as fair compensation. More specifically, equity usually also includes a focus on societal disparities and allocating resources and "decision making authority to groups that have historically been disadvantaged", and taking "into consideration a person’s unique circumstances, adjusting treatment accordingly so that the end result is equal." Finally, inclusion refers to creating an organizational culture that creates an experience where "all employees feel their voices will be heard", and a sense of belonging and integration. “DEI is most often used to describe certain "training" efforts, such as diversity training. Though DEI is best known as a form of corporate training, it also finds implementation within many types of organizations, such as within academia, schools, and medical spaces. “In recent years, DEI efforts and policies have generated criticism, some directed at the specific effectiveness of its tools, such as diversity training, its effect on free speech and academic freedom, as well as more broadly attracting criticism on political or philosophical grounds.” (Diversity, equity, and inclusion, Wikipedia, 6-12-2023) B. “Inclusion strives for an environment that offers affirmation, celebration, and appreciation of different approaches, styles, perspectives, and experiences.” (Equity, diversity, and inclusion, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/topics/equity-diversity-inclusion) 2. As is often the case with woke people, the terms they use mean something different in reality. A. Diversity i. Instead of referring to the presence of variety within the organizational workforce, in practice diversity is forcing a disproportionate presence of preferred minority groups into a workplace. ii. “Diversity” in practice is reverse discrimination against white, Christian, straight men. B. Equity i. Instead of referring to fairness and justice, in practice equity is unfairness and injustice because it forces company owners to pay undeserving people above-market wages, promote unqualified people to leadership positions, and therefore put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. ii. “Equity” in practice is treating competent employees unfairly by passing over them for raises and promotions in favor of less qualified people in minority groups. C. Inclusion i. Instead of referring to the “affirmation, celebration, and appreciation of different approaches, styles, perspectives, and experiences,” in practice inclusion is the exclusion of perspectives that go against the DEI and woke agenda (Gal 4:17). ii. The inclusion of people and ideas who hold diametrically opposed ideas to the organization does not create a “sense of belonging and integration” for members who do not agree with woke DEI principles. 3. Diversity for its own sake is not necessarily a good thing. A. God divided people by language to prevent them from collaborating to do evil (Gen 11:6-9). B. God wants nations divided (Act 17:26-27). C. Wicked rulers have long known that the way to destroy a country or a culture is to mingle foreigners with it who do not speak the language and do not share their values (2Ki 17:6, 24; Dan 2:43 c/w Ezr 9:2; Psa 106:35). D. Naturally occurring diversity, such as happens in the church, is a good thing (Col 3:11; Act 13:1). i. Forced diversity puts people together that have no common interests or values. ii. Naturally occurring diversity brings people together who are different in some ways (skin color, ethnicity, etc.) but have a common interest. iii. In such a case, variety in a group can make things more interesting without affecting the unity of the organization. 4. True equity is good ― DEI “equity” is evil. A. Equity n. – 1. The quality of being equal or fair; fairness, impartiality; evenhanded dealing. i. God judges the earth with righteousness and equity (Psa 98:9). ii. There is no respect of persons or favoritism with God (Rom 2:11; Eph 6:9). B. Equity in wokism is actually inequity, or iniquity in other words. i. The etymology of iniquity in the OED shows that it comes from two words that mean inequity. ii. Iniquity n. – 1. The quality of being unrighteous, or (more often) unrighteous action or conduct; unrighteousness, wickedness, sin; sometimes, esp. in early use, Wrongful or injurious action towards another, infliction of wrong, injury; in modern use generally connoting gross injustice or public wrong. 2. Want or violation of equity; injustice, unfairness. iii. Showing favoritism or respect of persons to anyone based on his race, color, ethnicity, or any other characteristic is evil (Pro 24:23; Jam 2:9). iv. Every man should be rewarded according to his works, not according to his minority status (1Pe 1:17; Lev 19:15). C. Companies who want to practice equity need to read the scriptures, not DEI drivel, to learn how (Pro 1:3; Pro 2:9). 5. “Inclusion” is unnecessary at best, and harmful at worst. A. “Different approaches, styles, perspectives, and experiences” should only be affirmed and celebrated if they are good and beneficial to the company. i. If the approaches, styles, and perspectives are good and beneficial, well-run companies will affirm them voluntarily without DEI training. ii. If they are not good and beneficial, they should not be affirmed and celebrated. B. Adopting an “inclusion” policy is therefore either a waste of time or an exercise in self-harm for companies. Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) 1. Definition A. “Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), also known as environmental, social, governance, is a business framework for considering environmental issues and social issues in the context of corporate governance. It is designed to be embedded into an organization's strategy that considers the needs and ways in which to generate value for all organizational stakeholders (such as employees, customers, suppliers, and financiers).” (Environmental, social, and corporate governance, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental%2C_social%2C_and_corporate_governance) 2. The vast majority of global leading investors consider ESG factors when it comes to which companies they will invest in. A. “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors increasingly drive investment strategies, and new research from PwC finds ESG has now become a make-or-break consideration for leading investors globally. Almost half of investors surveyed, 49%, express willingness to divest from companies that aren’t taking sufficient action on ESG issues. More than half, 59%, also say lack of action on ESG issues makes it likely they would vote against an executive pay agreement, while fully a third say they have already taken this action. A large majority, 79%, say the way a company manages ESG risks and opportunities is an important factor in their investment decision making.” (Companies failing to act on ESG issues risk losing investors, finds new PwC survey, PWC, 10-28-2021, https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/news-room/press-releases/2021/pwc-esg-investor-survey-2021.html) B. “Investors who use one or more ESG criteria or push companies on such issues as a group controlled $8.4 trillion in U.S.-domiciled assets in 2022. That’s according to the most recent count by US SIF, a trade group representing the sustainable and responsible investing industry. That’s enough money to buy Tesla, one of the most valuable U.S. stocks, more than 11 times over. It also means ESG accounted for $1 of every $8 in all U.S. assets under professional management.” (What is ESG investing and why do some hate it so much?, Associated Press, 3-1-2023, https://apnews.com/article/what-is-esg-investing-3a98b6f584357b8e10c31b1ff93ce4b6) C. “…the vast majority of money in ESG investments comes from huge investors like pension funds, insurance companies, endowments at universities and foundations and other big institutional investors.” (Ibid) 3. BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard A. BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard control a huge portion of the shares of publicly traded companies and have significant influence on ESG policies. B. “BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street manage a stunning $15 trillion in combined assets, equivalent to more than three-quarters the size of the US economy. The rapid growth of the Big Three fund managers, driven in part by rise of dirt-cheap ETFs, gives them enormous sway over financial markets and the priorities of Corporate America. Combined, BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard are the largest owner in 88% of the S&P 500 companies, according to a paper published Tuesday by the American Economic Liberties Project, a group that launched in February taking aim at what it sees as excessive corporate power. For instance, the Big Three hold leading stakes in companies including Apple (AAPL), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Pfizer (PFE).” (BlackRock and the $15 trillion fund industry should be broken up, antimonopoly group says, CNN Business, 11-24-2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/24/business/blackrock-vanguard-state-street-biden/index.html) C. “The “Big Three” institutional investors, BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard, have significant influence on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and related disclosure for public companies.” (The Big Three & ESG: A Guide to BlackRock, State Street & Vanguard Proxy Voting Policies & Guidance on Key ESG Issues, Governance & Securities Watch, 5-19-2023, https://governance.weil.com/featured/the-big-three-esg-a-guide-to-blackrock-state-street-vanguard-proxy-voting-policies-guidance-on-key-esg-issues/) 4. Environmental in ESG is a codeword for “climate change” advocacy. A. “…measuring a company’s environmental awareness could also unearth companies that could be better positioned for the future. Companies that care about climate change may be better prepared for its repercussions, whether that means potential flooding damage at factory sites or the risks of increased wildfires.” (What is ESG investing and why do some hate it so much?, Associated Press, 3-1-2023, https://apnews.com/article/what-is-esg-investing-3a98b6f584357b8e10c31b1ff93ce4b6) B. “In an annual letter to CEOs earlier this year, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … But awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” ($7 trillion asset manager BlackRock makes climate change central to its investment strategy for 2021, CNBC, 12-16-2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/16/blackrock-makes-climate-change-central-to-investment-strategy-for-2021.html) 5. Social in ESG is a codeword for “social justice.” A. “At its core, ESG social is about human rights and equity – an organization’s relationships with people, as well as its policies and actions that impact individuals, groups, and society. In a business context, it examines all people interactions against principles of ethics, justice, and care for wellbeing. This can be as basic as how they treat their employees or as far-reaching as their impact on customers, partners, and other stakeholders. It considers topics like inequality, working conditions, human rights, product safety, community relations, supply chain transparency, and more. ESG Social performance indicators can include things like diversity, income equality, workplace injury rates, philanthropy, and labor practices of suppliers.” (ESG 101: What does social in ESG mean?, Onetrust, 7-12-2022, https://www.onetrust.com/blog/esg-101-what-does-social-in-esg-mean/) B. “Investors measuring a company’s social impact often look at whether pay is fair and working conditions are good through the rank and file, for example, because that can lead to better retention of employees, lower turnover costs and ultimately better profits.” (What is ESG investing and why do some hate it so much?, Associated Press, 3-1-2023, https://apnews.com/article/what-is-esg-investing-3a98b6f584357b8e10c31b1ff93ce4b6) C. “Increasingly, companies are also getting called upon to take positions on big social issues, such as abortion or the Black Lives Matter movement. Some ESG investors encourage this, saying companies’ employees and customers want to hear it.” (Ibid) D. “Investors are also pushing executives across corporate America to give more details about their carbon emissions, measurements about their impacts on human rights and audits for racial equity.” (Ibid) E. “Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year called ESG a scam that “has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors,” for example. His criticism came shortly after Tesla got kicked out of the S&P 500 ESG index.” (Ibid) 6. ESG policies and investing plays a large role in promoting the woke agenda through major corporations. A. “In the ESG debate, most focus on the environmental aspect. Measuring sustainability programs and environmentally friendly actions taken by a company. However, the social aspect is the major source of controversy for the right. Diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, programs; policies which target specific industries; and policies tied to political stances are often factors in ESG. Companies may implement programs and internal policies to bolster their ESG Reports. Recently, the focus of controversy has been on outward facing LGBTQ+ polices supporting and promoting the transgender community. Budweiser was one of the first to face serious backlash after releasing a limited run Bud Light can featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Conservatives were outraged, and the company faced a significant loss in business. There is reason to believe that Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Budweiser, took the action as part of a marketing campaign meant to bolster their ESG scores.” (Target’s LGBTQ+ Pride Marketing May Be ESG Driven, Forbes, 5-25-2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmcgowan/2023/05/25/targets-lgbtq-pride-marketing-may-be-esg-driven/) B. “Looking at Target’s 2022 ESG Report, the company boasts a 100% score by the Corporate Equality Index put out by The Human Rights Campaign. CEI is 40% based on outward facing LQBTQ policies, and a company can face an additional 25% penalty for actions which do not support the LGBTQ cause. Their high score shows a very LGBTQ friendly company. Additionally, they were ranked #4 in DiversityInc’s 2022 Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees. . . . If Target was considering ESG in marketing decisions relating to LGBTQ+ merchandise, it was probably to maintain their already high scores.” (Ibid) 7. Some good news – the big 3 are turning against ESG A. Companies like Budweiser and Target have faced huge boycotts and backlashes because of their wokeness and promotion of wickedness. i. The Lord takes the wise in their own craftiness (1Co 3:19). ii. Wicked people and companies will reap what they sow (Gal 6:7). B. “The most surprising finding is how thoroughly the “Big 3” investors—BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street—turned against environmental and social shareholder proposals in the past year. In the U.S., BlackRock’s support for E&S proposals dropped from 41.3% in the 2020-21 season, to 23.7% in 2021-22, to a mere 8.7% in 2022-23. Vanguard’s drop was equally precipitous, from 29.6% to 12% to a tiny 3% in the past year. And State Street went from 43.7% to 28.6% to 21.2%. Clear signs of the backlash.” (BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street turned against environmental and social proposals this year, a clear sign of backlash, Yahoo Finance, 10-31-2023, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/blackrock-vanguard-state-street-turned-082546552.html) C. Hopefully this trend continues.
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