ANALYSIS: The influence of woke ideology in corporate America

Both The North Face’s DEI course and Bud Light’s controversial partnership were ideas championed by leftist Ivy League graduates.

As universities peddle far-left ideology into course curricula, they churn out graduates who bring their radical ideas to the workplace, pushing their leftist agenda on companies and society as a whole.

For example, outerwear company The North Face recently made headlines for offering customers a 20% discount for taking an anti-racism course that claims the outdoors are oppressive toward black people and more easily accessible to white people because of white privilege.

The one-hour course teaches concepts of critical race theory and says “people of color are less likely to go climbing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and trail running” because they don’t have access to the outdoors due to institutional racism.

The North Face’s antiracism course strongly reflects university courses based on curriculum to promote leftist ideology like critical race theory.

Campus Reform reported Cornell University offers a course for ‘Racial Allyship Training’ that teaches students to ‘disrupt white spaces’ and ‘decenter whiteness.’

Similarly, students at the University of Connecticut are required to take an “Anti-Black Racism” course as part of the core curriculum’s social justice requirement. 

These trends in higher education serve to perpetuate the spread of far-left ideology into corporate environments, where graduates continue to push these radical ideas and agendas.

[RELATED: OPINION: Defund the Police: Another bad idea from higher ed]

Another example of corporate America’s embrace of woke ideology was Bud Light’s decision to feature transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney on the label of their blue-collar beer.  This marketing ploy was disastrous among Bud Light’s consumer base, costing the company more than $1B in sales.

The case of Bud Light serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of woke ideology infiltrating corporations, as the company was forced to lay off hundreds of employees as a result of consumer boycotts.  This example serves as a clear indication that woke capitalism ultimately fails to resonate with consumers and can drive them away from brands. 

Both The North Face’s DEI course and Bud Light’s controversial partnership were ideas championed by leftist Ivy League graduates and show how leftist ideology learned on college campuses eventually graduates to the workplace and society.  

DEI initiatives at North Face are spearheaded by Columbia University graduate Lauren Guthrie, the Vice President of DEI at VP Corporations, the parent company of the North Face. Similarly, Bud Light’s controversial partnership was spearheaded by Harvard University graduate Alissa Heinerscheid, the company’s marketing Vice President.

Companies like the North Face and Bud Light sacrifice profits, face backlash from consumers and tarnish their own brand reputations in pursuit of their commitment to DEI initiatives.

These implications show the destructive impact of university graduates indoctrinated with radical ideas on companies and society, threatening the success of businesses that succumb to their demands.

[RELATED: ‘Shark Tank’ star to teach business students about Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light’s collapsed sales]

As higher education, the economy and society have experienced the destructive effects of DEI initiatives, legislators nationwide are taking steps to restrict DEI on public university campuses.

The University of Florida and Florida International University recently terminated their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments to comply with Senate Bill 266, which prohibits Florida’s universities from using public funds for such programs.

Similarly, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Alabama lawmakers are introducing measures to limit DEI at public universities.

Moreover, Campus Reform recently covered the trend of major Wall Street firms reigning back efforts to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) amid heightened criticism.

According to Bloomberg News, major banks such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and JP Morgan are reconsidering diversity efforts and, as a result, have been cutting them.

The trend of universities and financial firms retracting DEI efforts underscores the growing skepticism about these initiatives and their impacts.  

[RELATED: More colleges are seeking to institutionalize DEI through rubrics, diversity statements]

The divisive principles of DEI promoted by university graduates are not only eroding the reputation of companies, but also exposing the flaws within our education system.

 America’s universities have become breeding grounds for leftist indoctrination rather than rigorous academic institutions educating and preparing the next generation of leaders. 

Leftist professors use the classroom as a soapbox to indoctrinate students with political ideology and students are expected to accept it.

With universities retracting DEI initiatives and companies recognizing potential issues with hiring woke college graduates, students from institutions without heavy DEI influence may have a competitive advantage in the recruitment process. 

Employers could start viewing candidates from non-DEI-focused universities as safer hires and those from heavily DEI-influenced schools as potential liabilities, negatively impacting their prospects in the job market.

In summary, the spread of far-left ideology from universities to the workplace has led to the dissemination of radical ideas and the promotion of leftist agendas within companies and society, causing adverse effects on businesses and fostering skepticism towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

Follow Emily Sturge on X and Instagram.