What the Ratings Mean

Viewpoint Diversity Score is a relatively new organization; it’s a project of Alliance Defending Freedom. VDS’ goal:

Through our Business Index and Resources we’re providing a roadmap for businesses to meaningfully respect customers, and other external stakeholders who hold diverse religious and ideological beliefs, foster viewpoint diversity in their workplaces, and reflect a commitment to the underlying principles of American democracy through their giving and political engagement.

This isn’t, though, a crowd pushing diversity, equity, and inclusion claptrap; it’s much more serious than that. They’re not demanding that everyone comport themselves in accordance with VDS’ viewpoints or be cancelled. Instead,

The Business Index evaluates corporate policies, practices, and activities to determine whether companies respect their stakeholders’ freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief as a standard part of doing business.

And from their Business Index report,

Viewpoint Diversity Score’s annual Business Index is the first comprehensive benchmark designed to measure corporate respect for religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square. True diversity requires protecting freedom of expression and belief for employees, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

VDS’ Business Index surveys companies, and based on their answers along with outside, publicly available information regarding what the surveyed companies actually do, the Business Index awards a Market Score, a Workplace Score, a Public Square Score, and a composite of the three. Each score and the composite could range from 0% (a terrible score) to 100% (and outstanding score).

Market-related questions for the survey include things like

  • Terms of Use/Service Avoid Unclear or Imprecise Terms
  • Harmful Conduct Policies Apply Equally
  • Terms of Use/Service Avoid Viewpoint Discrimination
  • Public Anti-Viewpoint Discrimination Policy
  • Notice of Content or Service Restrictions
  • CSR/ESG Reporting Includes Freedom of Expression and Belief

under Respecting Customers’ Freedom of Expression and Belief. There were similarly probing questions under Respecting Venders’ Freedom of Expression and Belief and Transparent Screening and Enforcement Practices.

Workplace-related categories included Religious and Ideological Diversity in the Workplace, Respecting Civil Rights and Promoting Viewpoint Diversity, Respecting Religious Diversity at Work, and Respecting Employee Charity Choice.

Public Square-related categories included Political Spending and Advocacy Reflects Diverse Views, Respecting Shareholder Support for Viewpoint Diversity, and Respect Diverse Views in Charity and Society.

The Business Index surveyed 50 companies in this first survey; it expects to expand the number surveyed in the coming years.

The results of this survey were…disappointing. The highest score any company achieved was 35%, and most of the scores were in the range of 18% or less, including 16 of the companies in single digits and 6 of the companies doing no better than 6%. One barely made it onto the board at 2%.

From the Executive Summary [emphasis in the original]:

Benchmarked companies scored an average of 12% overall on respecting religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square. This poor performance is cause for concern, especially because these companies represent some of the largest businesses in America and provide essential services to millions of people and organizations every day. While no industry exhibited strong performance, there were a handful that scored particularly poorly. The two industries with the lowest overall scores were computer software at 6%, and internet services and retailing at 8%. The financial and data services industry also came in at a low overall average score of 11%. These subpar results paint a grim picture of Corporate America’s respect for religious and ideological diversity.

And [emphasis in the original]:

One finding of particular concern is that social media companies, which provide services critical to the freedom of individuals and groups to participate equally in the digital public square, are concentrated in an industry (internet services and retailing) with one of the lowest average overall scores. Not surprisingly, nearly all of those companies are also among the lowest performers across industries.

This is how far the Left’s Woke Culture has penetrated, and deprecated our society—it’s deeply into our businesses, especially those dominating our ability to speak and to debate the questions of concern to us.

The complete report, including a review of the survey’s outcome and details of how the scores were generated, can be found here or via Viewpoint Diversity Score’s site here.

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