Edelman

Daniel J. Edelman Inc.
Illinois
Commercial and Professional Services

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

By complying with Human Rights Campaign's controversial demands, Edelman, one of the world's largest global communications firm, increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. Edelman forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. Edelman pledged to not work with gun manufacturers or tobacco companies. Edelman also vets vendors according to environmental policies. The company provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion. Edelman has used its corporate reputation and funds to advance LGBT and gender ideology. The company is part of the Don't Ban Equality Coalition to support abortion access and is a founding member of the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE). Edelman has stated that it is a corporate mandate to speak out against systemic racism. The company is a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and its CEO signed the CEOs for Gun Safety. For these reasons, Edelman receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Daniel Edelman, the CEO of Edelman, published a statement that Edelman will not work with gun manufacturers or tobacco companies (1). Edelman received a score of 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (2)(3). The company requires that all suppliers adhere to its Environmental Policy (4)(5).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Edelman’s HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2). Edelman does not discriminate against religious organizations in its charitable giving. The company focuses on funding Good Health & Well-being, Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities, Gender Equality, and Climate Action (3).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Edelman’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees and specific benefits guide with a comprehensive explanation of transgender services funded by the company (1)(2). Edelman protects its employees against viewpoint discrimination (3).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Edelman’s PGLE membership reflects its commitment to “operationalize” company coverage of transgender surgery and treatment, the vetting of business partners based on LGBTQ+ policies, and the financial support of LGBTQ organizations on a global level (1)(2)(3). The company established a DJE Board Climate and Sustainability Committee and requires that all employees participate in unconscious bias training (4)(5)(6). Edelman is a part of the Don’t Ban Equality coalition; company leaders including Katie Spring, President of Edelman Smithfield, have promoted greater abortion access (7)(8). Edelman’s Senior VP, Lauren Gray published a statement supporting advancing the Equality Act, and the company has used its TikTok account to support Pride Month (9)(10). During the Black Lives Matter movement, Edelman published an article stating that brands have a moral obligation to speak out against systemic racism and that “this is a mandate for brands to act” (11). Edelman’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (12)(13). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Edelman Holdings, Edelman’s parent company, is part of The Business Coalition for the Equality Act (14). The company’s CEO is a signatory to CEOs for Gun Safety (15).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Edelman provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion (1)(2). Edelman’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company covers transgender related costs for its employees and their children, including paid short-term leave, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, chest surgeries, genital surgeries, medical visits and lab monitoring, travel and lodging. Additionally, the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (3)(4). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company is a founding member of the PGLE, a global LGBT initiative and has pledged to donate its services to the Gun Safety Alliance (5)(6). Edelman also matched employee donations to Project Unloaded, an organization whose goal is to create “a new cultural narrative that guns make us less safe” (7)(8). The company has partnered with GLAAD to conduct research on the LGBTQ community (9). Edelman is a corporate partner of the NGLCC (10).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Edelman’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Edelman does not operate a PAC at this time (3).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
January 30, 2024

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