How B Corps Can Encourage Voter Engagement at Work

February 28, 2024

Shaping Business Practices and Policies to Support Civic Engagement

Encouraging and empowering their employees to vote and get civically engaged can be a way for purpose-driven companies to create a positive impact within their communities and beyond. 

Certified B Corporations are among the businesses taking action to encourage voter turnout by rearranging work schedules or giving employees time off to vote, providing information about voter registration and polling places, and even becoming actively engaged on specific issues. 

As businesses that create value for multiple stakeholders — including workers and community — B Corps see civic engagement as a crucial part of systemic change needed to shape an economy that works for all people and the planet. Kate Ogden is Head of Advocacy and Movement Building at Seventh Generation, which markets planet- and people-friendly household and personal care products. She said the B Corp has a long history of advocacy. 

“We understand that in many cases, the type of systemic change that we seek for the issues that we care about comes at the policy level,” Ogden said. “We also believe in the power of everyday people and the importance of everyone having a voice. So we see voting and civic engagement as inseparable and very much connected to all of the issues that we care about and advocate for.” 

Ogden was one of several panelists who participated in a recent webinar on voter engagement at work organized by B Local Philly, an organization for B Corps in the Philadelphia area. Theresa Gassert, Policy Fellow with the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, moderated the webinar, which included three B Corp leaders and an ACLU representative. The panelists discussed big and small ways to encourage voter engagement at purpose-driven businesses. 

Take Effective Policy Action at Your Company

This free resource shares how B Lab U.S. & Canada and the B Corp community are building a stakeholder economy and driving collective political action to make the rules of the game more equitable and beneficial for all.


Modifying Schedules for Election Day

The panelists agreed that giving employees paid time off to head to the polls is an important step to encourage voter participation. Whether it’s providing a full day off for Election Day or allowing for schedule modifications, B Corps and other businesses can help accommodate voting and provide information about voting options. 

Micah Gold-Markel is the Founder of B Corp Solar States, a Philadelphia solar energy company that connects sustainable energy, education, and economic development. While Gold-Markel thinks Election Day should be a national holiday, he said until that happens, it’s important for companies to provide paid time off for employees to vote. 

“If you want people to vote, they’ve got to be able to earn a living, and they’ve got to be able to go vote,” he said. “Those are the two things that they really need to do.”

Danielle Silber, Director of Corporate Engagement at the ACLU, said that since 2018, the ACLU has advocated for businesses to play a more robust role in voting rights and civic engagement. She said small businesses can communicate local voting options, such as mail-in voting, and offer flexibility with scheduling to encourage and reinforce civic engagement as a business value. 

“Giving your employees a whole day off to vote can be onerous, to say the least,” Silber said. “So another best practice is thinking about flexible hours, and also communicating to your employees what other options they have to vote. Can they do a mail-in ballot? Can they vote early?” 

colorful hands around we go beyond quote

Impact Improvement Through Collaboration

This guide from B Lab U.S. & Canada features B Corp collaboration examples to help more businesses and organizations find ways to go beyond their own impact to support other companies, community members, and more.


For Civic Engagement, Information Is Power

Other panelists highlighted the value of providing information to encourage civic engagement, such as early voting options, polling places, and particulars about local elections. 

Tess Hart, Co-Founder and CEO of B Corp Triple Bottom Brewing, said the Philadelphia craft brewery’s employees tend to be younger and newer to both the workforce and the voting system. Hart said that to encourage civic participation, particularly for off-cycle elections and primaries that tend to get less attention, the brewery provides election information through its company Slack. She said that includes compiling information about polling places, candidates, and the issues at stake, with no expectation about people voting a particular way. 

“Election Day is not just every November; there’s education that happens year-round,” Hart said. “There are other smaller elections that we need to be paying attention to.” 

Silber said equipping employees with information about voting mechanics — including advance or mail-in voting options and registration deadlines — can be critical. She said that’s especially important for first-time voters or those who live in states where election laws have recently changed. 

Seventh Generation also encourages people beyond their employees to vote. To support that, Seventh Generation employees have been provided volunteer hours for text bank efforts that provide election and voting information. 

“As a staff, I think we sent out something around 40,000 or 50,000 text messages to voters across the country, reminding folks to register to vote, letting them know where their polling place was, helping them find information on how to vote by mail or vote early, as the case might be,” Ogden said. “So that was one great way that our staff were able to go a bit further to really kind of step up their engagement.” 

How B Corps Expand into Policy Engagement

Some B Corp leaders said they had actively engaged with specific issues, including those directly affecting their businesses or relating to company values. 

For instance, Gold-Markel said government policy related to solar energy is pivotal for Solar States, so being informed and engaging with those policy issues was an existential issue for his company. He tries to ensure all employees understand how policy can affect their work. 

“I basically tell everybody who works with us, anybody who will listen, that solar is all about policy, and as a result of policy, we get a lot more done,” Gold-Markel said. “And policy gets done at the government level, so without engagement and voting and government action, it’s hard to expand the jobs in the solar industry.”

Ogden said Seventh Generation has a long history of advocacy and activism on various social and environmental issues. She said the company understands that the type of systemic change the B Corp seeks often occurs at the policy level. 

Silber said that when companies weigh in on particular policy issues, they should be tied to values that the company has already communicated. However, she emphasized that voting access is not a partisan issue but rather foundational to a functioning democracy — and one of the country’s strengths that allows for business vibrancy.  

“Democracy is a foundational principle of our country,” Silber said. “It’s really powerful and important for business leaders to be reinforcing that. Wanting to encourage civic participation is not a partisan issue.” 

Shaping a Stakeholder Economy

  • Stakeholder Economy

    B Corps Collaborate to Build Voting Rights Knowledge

    Read More
  • Person placing ballot in box

    Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

    Leaders in Conversation: Why Business Has a Role in Protecting Voting Rights

    Read More
  • Business Strategy

    Why Businesses Must Protect Voting Access for All Eligible Americans

    Read More
  • Stakeholder Economy

    Advocate Where You Are: B Locals Collaborate for Policy Action

    Read More

Sign Up for our B The Change Newsletter

Read stories on the B Corp Movement and people using business as a force for good. The B The Change Newsletter is sent weekly on Fridays.