WASHINGTON – Addressing the problem of major American corporations that are actively undermining free speech and religious freedom, Alliance Defending Freedom on Thursday launched the ViewpointDiversityScore.org website and annual Business Index.
The initiative is a joint venture of ADF and Inspire Investing, a Christian investing and financial technology firm informing investment decisions on billions of dollars around the globe. Examining 50 companies on the Fortune 1000 list, the Business Index is the first comprehensive benchmark designed to measure corporate respect for religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square.
As leaders from ADF and Inspire Investing explain in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the Business Index focuses on industries that have the greatest potential to impact free speech and religious freedom. These include industries that provide essential banking, payment processing, and cloud services, or that serve as platforms for third-party expression in the digital space. Many of the companies are household names, like Meta (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Twitter, and Bank of America. Along with scoring companies, Viewpoint Diversity Score will provide companies with workable solutions through model polices, research, toolkits, polling, and constructive dialogue.
“CEOs and business leaders have positions of considerable power. They shouldn’t weaponize their influence or the companies they run to divide Americans or engage in speech censorship or anti-religious bigotry,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco. “Instead of using the cultural power of their brands to drive polarization, business leaders should commit to respecting everyone, regardless of their religion or ideology. Businesses should respect viewpoint diversity at every level of their organizations, from the shop floor to the board room, and externally as well.”
Benchmarked companies scored an average of 12% overall on respecting religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square. While no industry performed well, a handful scored particularly poorly. The two industries with the lowest overall scores were computer software at 6%, and internet services and retailing at 7%. The financial and data services industry (8%) also scored poorly. The lackluster results paint a grim picture of corporate America’s respect for religious and ideological diversity.
“Ideologically charged business services are bad for everyone, no matter their religious or political views,” said Inspire Investing CEO Robert Netzly, one of 10 members of the Viewpoint Diversity Score Advisory Council. “By adopting the model policies and strategies we recommend, companies can cement their reputations as tolerant businesses that respect free speech and religious freedom as a standard part of doing business.”
Along with Netzly, the advisory council includes Professor Robert P. George, Jerry Bowyer, Andrew Abela, David Bahnsen, Andrew Olivastro, Bob Doll, Matt Monson, John Silverling, and Mike Sharrow.
Find out more about Viewpoint Diversity Score and the 2022 Business Index, including the results and methodology, at www.ViewpointDiversityScore.org.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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