The Progressive Corporation lived up to its name, defending its practice of hiring based on race and gender on Tuesday.
When the company's board was asked by conservative activist Ethan Peck, a representative for the National Center for Public Policy Research, why Progressive prioritizes “skin color and reproductive organs” when hiring employees and how it “could justify valuing surface characteristics over merit,” CEO Tricia Griffith responded that Progressive's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is "an important part" of its growth and "just the right thing to do,” according to the Washington Times.
"You can’t put yourself in the shoes of somebody else if you don’t have a representative organization that represents the country as a whole,” Griffith said during the company's annual shareholder meeting. “You could never know what it feels like to be a female, [and] I could never feel what it feels like to be a male, so we need to represent everyone.”
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Progressive has embraced “woke” identity politics in its business model and has "an incredibly regressive and divisive world view," Peck said after the meeting ended.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative foundation, works to advocate private, free-market solutions. The foundation originally started in 1982 to support initiatives from President Ronald Reagan's administration "concerning the USSR, arms control, Central America and human rights."
A total of 56% of Progressive employees are women, with 60% of the company's new hires also being women, the company reported in December 2020. The company plans to double its representation of people of color in its senior leadership by the end of 2025.
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Progressive has not yet responded to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.