Corporations exist primarily to provide goods and services to willing buyers. Yet a growing number of employees believe that this mission must include the role of social change facilitator. They view profit and global salvation as woven together. To accommodate this call for reinvention, some employers are offering their work forces paid leave for activism. Welcome to the age of the radicalized, “woke” employee.
A corporation, whether unionized or not, has a natural interest in addressing employee grievances. Open communication is necessary for workplace morale. But at some companies, top officials have become advocates on such controversial public issues as gun control, immigration and global warming. This trend is almost entirely driven by employees, particularly younger ones. And the politics lean sharply leftward. Amplified by social media, activist workers are trying to persuade employers to be accountable to the general population, also known as “stakeholders.” And they’re getting results.