You know the old adage not to talk about politics or religion in polite company? It used to be a matter of etiquette, but it’s now an imperative if you want to keep your job.
Three out of five employees worry that expressing religious or political viewpoints, even respectfully, would lead to negative consequences at work, according to an Alliance Defending Freedom survey. The organization last fall gathered data from more than 3,000 workers across various disciplines, and its recently published findings were chilling.
A quarter of workers “say they know someone who has experienced negative consequences for respectfully expressing their religious and political viewpoints,” according to the survey. A majority of those polled said they were afraid to post political content on their own social media accounts for fear of career repercussions.
These concerns aren’t unfounded. “Data collected on Fortune 1000 companies’ policies and practices as part of the Viewpoint Diversity Score 2022 Business Index demonstrates that employees have good reason to fear: of 50 benchmarked companies, only one — Paychex — confirms that it respects employees’ civil rights outside of work,” ADF reports.
While employees self-censor at work and online, companies’ efforts to (allegedly) boost morale are failing. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are, ironically, dividing employees, a plurality of whom consider them divisive, not unifying. This is unsurprising to all but possibly the DEI coordinators, given such companies’ abysmal track record of respecting intellectual diversity.
Google is one of the most prominent examples of a company that preaches DEI, but not when it comes to independent thought. In 2017, the tech giant famously fired an engineer for discussing the biological differences between men and women. One year later, a Republican engineer was fired, later alleging that there was “a lot of bullying at Google.”
Meanwhile, Google bragged in its most recent annual report that it achieved its “best year yet for hiring women globally, as well as Black+ and Latinx+ employees in the U.S.” What more could you ask for?
Google and its Big Tech peers aren’t the only ones responsible for trampling on employees’ expression. According to ADF, “At least 78 percent of the companies evaluated on the 2022 Business Index utilize programming or material that includes divisive concepts associated with CRT. For example, Bank of America launched a reeducation program that urged employees to be ‘woke’ and white employees to ‘decolonize your mind.’”
In other words, employers have no problem with politics in the workplace. It just has to be the right kind.