The danger in the Republican anti-woke response to SVB’s collapse

It’s just like blaming every celebrity’s health challenge on the vaccine. It’s also like the humbug Wizard of Oz desperately telling Dorothy to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

With not even the tiniest molecule of evidence or documentation, right-wing zealots are blaming corporate failures on diversity initiatives and “woke” strategies disconnected from financial measures of risk and return. The latest is the shocking failure of SVB.

As Fast Company reports, “the bank violated one of the elementary rules of finance: Always diversify. SVB became the 16th-largest bank in the country by turning itself into the financial institution of choice for Silicon Valley venture capitalists and the companies they funded. But in doing so, it also made itself exceptionally dependent on the health of the tech industry and on the choices of a relatively small number of VCs and company founders. That dependence is what made the bank so successful. It’s also what helped destroy it.” But people who know absolutely nothing about the company’s financials are shrieking that it’s about being woke.

Republicans [try] to link a company’s diversity ambitions with a business disaster. The attacks on SVB’s DEI efforts come just a week after Republican Congressman Mike Collins of Georgia blamed DEI for the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio. In that case, the congressman asked whether the transport company’s DEI policies were “directing resources away from the important things like greasing wheel bearings?”

It appears we’ve reached a moment when corporate snafus will inevitably be attributed to a push for diversity and equity. If the trend continues, DEI naysayers will be busy. The vast majority of public companies are at least ostensibly working to diversify their executive teams and boards, believing that more diverse voices allow a company to better manage risks. \

Is ‘DEI-hushing’ next? The danger in the Republican anti-woke response to SVB’s collapse

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