The great a-woke-ning: Mark Zuckerberg’s $8 billion dip in net worth from the Facebook ad boycott shows corporate America is finally listening to calls for racial justice

Top companies are pulling their advertisements from Facebook over allegations that the tech giant isn’t doing enough to stop the spread of hate on its platform.
The boycott, which is costing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg billions, comes at a time when companies are also announcing new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) measures.
Corporate leaders, it appears, are finally listening to calls for racial equity in the workplace and beyond.
DEI experts told Business Insider this is because of a few factors including the pandemic forcing leaders to see racial inequity, people at home paying more attention to the news, and increased pressure from younger employees and customers for brands to take a stand.
This post is part of Business Insider’s ongoing series on Better Capitalism.

In the past week, brands ranging from Coca Cola to Starbucks to Unilever have pulled their ads from Facebook in protest of what they say is the company’s failure to stop the spread of hate on its platform. That’s come with a heavy pricetag for Mark Zuckerberg, with a quick $8 billion drop in the CEO’s net worth as of this writing.

Those brand-level moves, along with the public commitments to make organizations more diverse and inclusive in hiring and up through the director and executive level, show that the summer of 2020 is bearing witness to a reckoning with racism that appears to be producing and effecting material business outcomes.

And yet: Racism and racial violence have existed in America since before the country was founded. There have been dozens of killings of Black people in recent years that caused national outrage and discussion. Americans can say the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray among countless others.

This prompts an essential question: What’s different about now? Why are America’s top companies being more transparently progressive in terms of racial equity? The industry watchers Business Insider spoke with outlined a constellation of factors that are syncing up all at once, from public health to demographic shifts.

Read on to find out what they are.

The pandemic reveals histories of economic and racial injustice

The coronavirus exposed massive inequality in the US in such a stark way that leaders couldn’t turn a blind eye, says Dov Seidman, founder and chairman of leadership think tank The HOW Institute for Society, and LRN, a firm that advises companies on how to improve corporate culture.

“What began as a global health crisis became a humanitarian crisis, and then it quickly exploded into an unemployment and an economic crisis. But it also became a moral crisis,” Seidman told Business Insider. We were all forced to deal with profound dilemmas: “How do we balance lives and livelihoods?” he asked. “Who’s impacted disproportionately and how?”

All Americans were suffering, but not all were suffering equally, Seidman said. As in: Black Americans aged 35-44 are 10 times more likely to die in the pandemic than their white counterparts, and Black Americans,

Source:: Business Insider


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