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Yelp’s Chief Diversity Officer Mary Ann Warren told the New York Times on Monday that companies must take more vocal stances on issues such as abortion.
“Abortion is an issue many companies have shied away from,” Warren said.
“The days of companies not wading into political issues, or not speaking out on things that are perceived as private or personal, are over,” she added.
Yelp recently announced that it would pay for employees to travel out of state in order to receive an abortion.
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Warren echoed similar claims in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance.
“No longer are employees in a position where they think that just a paycheck is enough from their employers. They are really challenging the employee-employer social contract. What a lot of that means is they are asking for their employers to not only provide benefits that consider the entirety of their lives, but also asking for employers to speak out on social issues that impact their lives,” she told Yahoo Finance.
Warren brushed off criticism of the decision:
“One of the things that’s important to note here is that often the backlash gets much more press coverage, but what often doesn’t get much coverage is the fact that so many consumers, employees, and others that see these types of moves in the press really thank us for them.”
“In fact I’ve already seen a number of these thank yous come through various aliases at the company as well as on social media,” she added.
Warren’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from Mills College. Coursework for the major focuses on community organizing and social justice, race, culture, social class, power, and privilege.
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Some conservatives have criticized companies for taking similar measures to pay for travel to another state where abortion is legal. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation to prevent corporations from receiving tax breaks for such expenses.
“Our tax code should be pro-family and promote a culture of life,” Rubio said. “Instead, too often our corporations find loopholes to subsidize the murder of unborn babies or horrific “medical” treatments on kids. My bill would make sure this does not happen.”
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Others have celebrated the apparent gains made for the right, including Christopher Rufo, who lamented that most companies have decided to stay silent on this political issue.
“The game has changed: executives saw what we did to Disney and have changed their risk calculations. The pushback against woke capital is starting to deliver results,” Rufo wrote.