[Issue 068] These Companies Want You to Vote
Good morning beautiful people!
I’m en route to New Orleans today to hang out with and learn from B Corp leaders at their annual gathering. If you have plans to be there or are based in NOLA, let's meet up!
I'm also currently working on something exciting that I'll launch in October, which subscribers will get the first word on! So keep your eyes out for a message from me next Monday.
In the meantime, I want to remind all my US readers to register to vote. If you're not sure whether you're registered, please double and triple check.
In the US, only 56% of Americans eligible to vote did in the 2016 presidential election and only 41.9% voted during the last mid-term elections in 2014, a number that has been on the decline since 2006. (Data source: Vox)
According to a Pew Research Study, many of the people who don't vote on election day site work or school schedule conflicts. And while one might think that the "land of the free" would make such an important day a holiday, it isn't.
Companies have now jumped into the conversation with a campaign called Time to Vote. The goal? Increase voter turnout.
While 150 companies have signed on to the effort, each commitment is in no way equal or even equitable:
Patagonia is closing HQ and all retail stores on election day
Levi's is giving corporate employees 5 hours of PTO to vote while retail employees will only get 3
Walmart is sharing a website with resources (as if this doesn't exist)
Lyft is giving out discounts for rides to polling places and "will provide free rides to people in underserved communities, which it is identifying with help from nonprofit organizations including Voto Latino and affiliates of the Urban League"
Aside from the hard eye roll I have for Walmart, I don't have much more criticism about this. There are some, of course, who say this is all tied to the bottom line. To that, I say:
And honestly I'm getting a bit tired of that being the default reaction to everything companies do, because it feels lazy and I'm not sure what else people expect from companies that operate within capitalism. That will always be a significant driver in any decision-making by a company in this system.
However, I do believe we are capable of analyzing and criticizing the capitalist incentives while also measuring the net impact of a decision beyond the bottom line. And, for me, this is a no brainer: it's positive.
I don't take the right (or the privilege of having the time off) to vote lightly, and I hope you won't either.
September 15th was World Afro Day (who knew!?), and as a proud afro wearing woman in Corporate America, I was happy to see these images help raise awareness about one of the more nuanced issues we face in the workplace and in schools all around the world.
If this is news to you, click here to learn more.
Burning Man, a utopia for guests, was hell for many workers. Past employees were interviewed for this piece, which goes into the staggeringly high suicide rate among Burning Man’s seasonal workers and how that's just one symptom of the toxic work environment they endure. // SALON
Amazon Investigates Employees Leaking Data for Bribes. Amazon has begun investigating some of their employees that may have leaked data. Amazon employees may be offering internal data as well as other confidential information that could give a leg up to independent merchants who sell their products on Amazon. // WSJ
The Business of Voluntourism: Do Western Do-Gooders Actually Do Harm? This article discusses how voluntourism, which is volunteer trips that westerners take to other countries, usually impoverished, in an effort to help the local people. However, many are beginning to believe that even though the intentions are noble, voluntourism does more harm than good. // GUARDIAN
Inside Oslo’s Plan To Go Carbon Neutral by 2030. Oslo, which is the capital of Norway, has begun plans to make the city carbon neutral by 2030. They have started using electric cargo bikes, which can fit in bike lanes and carry more than 600 pounds of cargo. They are also planning on removing parking spaces and closing the streets to traffic, while also improving public transportation and giving grants to businesses to switch to cargo bikes instead of trucks, in an effort to make the city car free by 2019. // FAST COMPANY
Facebook Accused of Allowing Bias Against Women in Job Ads. Facebook has recently been accused of helping employers exclude female candidates for recruiting campaigns based on the platform. The employers used Facebook's advertising targeting technology to exclude women from seeing certain jobs. Charges have been filed by the job seekers, as well as the Communications Workers of America and the American Civil Liberties Union with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. // NY TIMES
The Life of a Straw- A Harrowing Narrative to Support #TheFutureDoesntSuck. Bacardi has recently teamed up with other organizations worldwide in an effort to ban single use plastic straws. The campaign aims to remove 1 billion single use plastic straws from the market by 2020. // TRIPLE PUNDIT
A Year After Hurricane Harvey, Some Cleanup Workers Are Still Unpaid. Workers who are still cleaning Houston from Hurricane Harvey are worried that they may not be paid. Meetings called “The People’s Tribunal on Hurricane Harvey” have started where many contractors or undocumented workers have joined together due to not being paid by the people who hired them. Many of the employers disappeared once the jobs were over, leaving the workers with no pay. Furthermore, a survey from the University of Illinois showed that approximately 75% of day laborers have experienced wage theft. // GUARDIAN