FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2020
Washington, DC — Today, Business Forward Foundation issued a report detailing the steps Michigan’s most successful businesses are taking to promote tolerance in their offices, factories, stores, and labs. Michigan Business Leaders: We Can’t Compete if We Can’t Get Along features comments, recommendations, and advice on diversity, inclusion, and tolerance from dozens of Michigan companies, as well as the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies operating in the state.
The report grew more relevant this week when President Trump launched a boycott of Goodyear tires over the company’s workplace policies relating to diversity, inclusion, and political speech.
“Every day, states compete with one another for investment and new jobs, and strong communities are a deciding factor,” explained Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward. “For years, business leaders in Michigan have shared a simple, powerful point with their employees, suppliers, customers, and neighbors: We cannot compete if we cannot get along. We need to work together, respect one another, protect one another, and bring out the best in one another.”
The report features commentary from business leaders on topics ranging from the economic advantage of a diverse and inclusive workforce, to statements responding to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The report also contains case studies on business leaders working together to condemn violence and promote civil discourse, including reactions to the events in Charlottesville and the Detroit Civility Project, an effort from the city’s Regional Chamber encouraging open dialogue across Michigan’s business community.
In response to President Trump’s attacks on Goodyear this past week, Melissa Monaco, a Goodyear executive, explained her company’s policy: “Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork. As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues.”
We Can’t Compete if We Can’t Get Along features commentary from dozens of companies with policies similar to Goodyear’s.
“The 2020 election will be among the most contentious in recent history, and President Trump just attacked Goodyear for policies that are common across the Fortune 500.” Doyle added, “Leading businesses understand that it’s okay for citizens of good faith to disagree strongly, but we must commit ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable among us — and we must reject those trying to divide us.”
ABOUT BUSINESS FORWARD FOUNDATION
The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.