CEO activism conspicuously absent
To my surprise, CEO Activism has not yet made itself into Wikipedia. The usual test of an emerging trend or shift is when it finds itself in the free online encyclopedia. Since I have spent a good part of my weekend working on a presentation on the topic for later this week, I figured I’d find it there. Especially because there has been a fair amount of media coverage on these acts of courage from CEOs who have spoken out on some of the most controversial issues of the day. The non-entry of CEO activism in this go-to source is a good reminder, however, that CEO activism is still in its infancy. We are only at the learning-as-we-go stage.
So far, we have seen more CEOs speak out against anti-LGBT laws than any other topic. But we are beginning to see a few CEOs finding their public voice when it comes to race relations. As one article I read said, it is easier for CEOs to find out how to talk about LGBT issues but harder for CEOs to know how to talk about racial issues. That remains to be seen.
Clearly, the usual untouchable topics of race, religion and politics when it comes to business is losing ground in this environment. I agree that it is changing. We are now witnessing CEOs standing up in opposition to presidential nominees and I expect we will see more over the next few weeks as November 8th rolls around. I look forward to seeing how CEO activism continues to morph over the next few months and the day it appears in the pages of Wikipedia.