We all know that environmental sustainability, COVID-19 and social justice are issues that belong in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) bandwagon. But what about the politically-charged topic of democracy? Some businesses believe it is.
The Business Roundtable, composed of CEOs from close to 200 major U.S. companies, has urged leaders in both houses of Congress to respect two centuries’ worth of tradition and continue with the peaceful transition of power. The powerful National Association of Manufacturers issued a similar statement. And, on Monday, nearly 200 top U.S. business leaders pressed Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Taking a public stand on an issue that, by its very nature, is political is not an easy decision for any business leader. Yet this is increasingly the type of leadership Americans expect from its executives. Furthermore, given the frayed state of confidence in American democracy, it’s a cause where companies might make a significant positive impact.
Corporate leaders wishing to explore how to support democracy, might be interested in the Civic Alliance. This non-partisan group of businesses are dedicated to “working together to build a future where everyone participates in shaping our country,” and include Amazon, Burton Snowboards, LinkedIn, McDonald’s and over 1000 other companies.
The bottom line is that soon business leaders might not have a choice. Whether they want to or not, they will need to decide if and what to do about America’s threatened democracy.