As the mantra ‘Get Woke, Go Broke’ gains more traction in the business world, it’s becoming increasingly clear that companies that choose to embrace woke culture and activism may ultimately suffer significant losses. The question of whether or not this is true is hotly debated, but one company that may be a case study in this regard is SVB (Silicon Valley Bank).
While the bank has been a strong financial player in the tech sector for many years, its ties to the World Economic Forum (WEF) may be cause for concern to those who believe in the potential negative effects of woke culture in business. The WEF is a Switzerland-based foundation that holds an annual gathering for the world’s elites to discuss global economic and social issues. While the organization is well-respected and influential, it’s also seen as synonymous with the wealthy elite and globalist agendas.
SVB’s association with the WEF does beg the question of whether or not the bank is simply pandering to the wealthy elites or if there’s a deeper motivation behind its association with the organization. While it’s not clear exactly why the bank chooses to support the WEF, some have speculated that it might be an attempt to project an image of wokeness in hopes of appealing to younger, more socially active investors.
Looking beyond the bank’s ties to the WEF, there are other indicators that suggest SVB’s embrace of wokeness is more than skin-deep. The bank’s website is rife with woke terminology, including pledges to support diversity and inclusion, as well as increased funding for environmental and social causes. While these might seem like commendable goals, some have suggested that they’re simply another form of virtue signaling meant to appease investors who prioritize social activism over financial returns.
Regardless of why SVB chooses to embrace wokeness, it’s not clear that doing so is good for business. There’s growing evidence that suggests that companies that prioritize social activism over profits (or even appear to do so) may suffer significant losses as a result. These losses can come from disgruntled shareholders who feel that the company is neglecting its duties to maximize profits, decreased consumer trust due to an emphasis on virtue signaling, and missed opportunities due to misguided marketing strategies.
Considering these risks, perhaps it’s time for companies like SVB to re-evaluate the role of social activism in their business strategies. Doing so isn’t to say that supporting social causes is inherently bad, but rather that doing so at the expense of profits or in a way that comes across as insincere or pandering can ultimately be detrimental. Whether or not SVB ultimately heeds this advice, it’s clear that the debate over the role of wokeness in business will continue to rage on for some time.