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Good Times Gone: The “Great Un-Wokening” has companies shying away from social issues

Summarised by Centrist

In a shift from previous years, many companies are toning down their involvement in social and political issues, a trend dubbed the “great un-wokening.” 

“You can almost say that ESG ran unopposed for a few years,” said one senior ESG researcher at the global non-profit think tank The Conference Board, but those days are over. 

This change comes amidst increasing caution and concern over potential backlash from customers and shareholders. Previously, companies had been more vocal about topics such as greenhouse gas emissions, transgenderism, and police violence. 

However, this shift is not just about public relations, but also about financial considerations, as companies are prioritising their shareholder interests. The recent beat down that Bud Light took to its bottom line over partnering with a transgender influencer, is one example which has made companies wary of taking controversial stands. 

Executives are now more cautious about discussing topics like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, fearing repercussions. 

This change is also reflected in a decrease in mentions of ESG and DEI in S&P 500 companies’ quarterly earnings calls with analysts. 

Considering that the name of the game has always been to make money, some are questioning if Corporate America was ever that committed in the first place. 

Read more over at Business Insider

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