Understanding Woke-Washing

“A new pejorative term has imprinted itself in the corporate lexicon: “woke-washing “. This now goes beyond just superficial brand upliftment and extends to question the reality of internal diversity and inclusion commitments. Symmetra suggests that Corporations and other employers should take note. Increasingly, shareholders and other stakeholders will not be content to accept lip service or lack of transparency on D&I measurement and progress.

For example, in anticipation of a shareholders meeting scheduled for October 6, Nike shareholders have requested that the company publish a report which measures metrics on promotion, recruitment and retention of protected classes of employees Nike is not amongst the 71% of S&P 100 which releases its statutory EEO-1 report which reflects detailed data on workforce composition. Nike’s internal report is inadequate, say the shareholders. It provides, they assert “…. Insufficient quantitative data for investors to determine the effectiveness of its human capital management program as it relates to workplace diversity.”

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