In times past, the role of a company’s CEO was focused almost exclusively on ‘value-creation’. This involved determining the strategic direction of the business, maximizing shareholder value, winning key contracts, and generally acting as a respected figurehead who inspired customers, employees and other stakeholders. Much of the latter was accomplished by finishing 18 holes as close to par as possible.
In our Brave New World, however, the CEO has had to adapt like everyone else. Instead of ‘wealth-generation’, modern businesses are more concerned with leaving a socially-progressive footprint. Business leaders are expected to be at the vanguard of promoting inter alia diversity, environmental preservation, ‘community outreach’ programs, retaining valuable millennial ‘talent’, marriage equality, and basically rejecting everything they learned at the hands of their conservative parents.
We applaud these visionary business leaders who positively embrace change. Their thought leadership comes across as a welcome tonic in their various blog postings on the likes of LinkedIn. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin, for example, is “Moved and thrilled to see so many Australian businesses and business leaders supporting marriage equality. As we’ve learned time and time again, business can be a great driver of impacting and lasting positive change.” We applaud Branson and Virgin for sending this clear (and extremely courageous) message to the hateful bigots in Australia who resist important societal change. The former understand the necessity to be on the right side of history. The latter will be…well, let’s leave until later shall we?
Whilst it is fair to say that the pace of change in society has quickened in recent times, it is equally true that not everybody has willingly ‘jumped on board’. Despite the ongoing injustices concerning womyns’ health rights, marriage equality, access to safe abortion, LGBTQAMABCDEF+ issues, abortion, the holocaust, and gay ‘marriage’, there remains a stubborn resistance.
Some of the opposition to progressive causes comes from the obvious places, namely Republicans and Christianity. Whilst the GOP has so far proven stubborn opposition with the election of the fascist Adolf Drumpf, the Church has proven to have a soft underbelly. Take the Catholic Church, for example, the majority of whose members – despite the Church’s dogma, rejected on pain of automatic excommunication – fully support abortion, same-sex marriage and other progressive causes. Even before the so-called chastisement and ‘final persecution’, Rome’s finest have rolled on to their backs to have their soft underbellies tickled by Hillary.
In a more general sense, however, resistance to social causes remains throughout the workplace. Despite bold diversity statements, keynote speeches and expensive marketing campaigns about things like ‘marriage equality’, some employees have had the temerity to speak out due to what they quaintly call ‘freedom of conscience’. ‘Oooh, I don’t agree with gay men being married‘, they bleat, ‘the government has no right to re-define a word (marriage) which has for thousands of years been commonly understood to be between a man and woman only’.
These delusional deplorables actually believe their progressive CEOs give a flying f**k about their ‘consciences’. Fortunately, the employers have the courage (and new laws) to fight back against the bigots. Brave Google, capitalised at around 680 billion dollars, had the moral fortitude to take the battle to a hateful computer engineer who recently suggested there are differences between men and womyn, which make the latter ‘less suited to certain roles in tech and leadership‘.
We applaud also the UK’s National Trust, which required all its public facing employees to wear Gay Pride badges or risk being fired/ demoted.
Of course, ‘freedom of conscience’ has always been employed by the coalition of the unwilling as an excuse to avoid doing what was right. Take ‘pro-life’ surgeons, for instance, who have long refused womyn the basic human right of killing their unborn offspring. This is simply barbaric.
Or, to revert to the featured image, the example of Christian bakers who famously refused to bake a simple cake for a gay couple with some loving words added on top.
Where does this leave us? Well, it is clear that ‘freedom of conscience’ is basically a euphemism for ‘hate crime’, whether in thought or deed. We will no longer put up with this.
In a free society, people should clearly have the right to do, say, or think anything they like once they are at home (on their own, without children). In public (which includes the workplace), there is no place for hate crime, which simply should not be tolerated.
We recommend that companies’ annual audits are extended to include a review of businesses’ social capital. Employees should be interviewed at length to understand and record their attitudes towards important progressive issues. Those businesses who willingly employ hateful individuals can then be blacklisted and/ or refused credit until said individuals are replaced/ retrained.
Love trumps over hate. We get to define both love and hate.