Viewpoint diversity is an essential component of corporate governance. Respecting different social, political, and religious beliefs in policy, governance, and the marketplace helps companies mitigate risk, improve performance, and better align business goals with shareholders’ interests. Promoting robust viewpoint diversity also enriches and strengthens society by fostering a culture that respects free speech, religious tolerance, and open discourse.
When companies have a narrow approach to diversity, for example, one which focuses on only gender or age, they forgo the many benefits associated with integrating other factors into their diversity frameworks. There is ample evidence that tolerance for a wide range of religious, social, and political views in a company’s workplace, business affairs, charitable giving, and political engagement makes good business sense. And research suggests that failure to include viewpoint tolerance as a factor in corporate governance can adversely affect a company’s reputation, workplace culture, competitiveness, and financial performance. It is common sense that alienating large groups of potential customers by marginalizing their beliefs or views is a bad business practice that harms shareholder value.