Things haven’t exactly been Hakuna Matata over at Disney (DIS) recently. Last week employees organised a series of 15-minute walkouts in protest of CEO Bob Chapek’s tardy response to new legislation in Florida that would limit the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms. Around 75,000 Disney employees work in Florida and the walkouts resulted in Disney releasing a statement saying they oppose ‘any legislation that infringes on basic human rights’.
Are Disney’s walkouts another sign that it’s a great time to be an employee right now? Good news for those of us who stubbornly keep turning up to work instead of hanging up our boots and joining The Great Resignation. The number of people looking for a job in the US has dropped to the lowest level since the summer of ’69 (coincidentally not Bryan Adams’ inspo for ‘Summer of 69’). Staff shortages and fierce global competition for workers means power has tilted in employees’ favour, and we’ve been quick to use that power for good. In some cases, employees have not only been fighting to make companies better places to work, but to also make them more closely aligned to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. Last year Activision Blizzard (ATVI) employees walked out to demand changes to the company’s toxic culture in favour of policies that would improve diversity and gender equality.
Even investment banking, famed for gruelling 100 hour work weeks (in exchange for ridiculous bonuses 💰) is trickling in change. Graduate analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) forced a mini revolution after releasing a PowerPoint presentation highlighting sleep deprivation, poor treatment by senior bankers and mental and physical stress. The result? Analysts now have permission to step outdoors to enjoy Saturday brunch. 🥓
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