And so to a trading update today from BAE Systems, which in the first paragraph quotes CEO Charles Woodburn as “progressing our sustainability agenda”.
BAE Systems? Isn’t its agenda, like, blowing stuff up?
Near the bottom of the statement, we get words on soaring defence spending in the US and this bit: “We are well placed to address the requirements of long-range precision munitions, air and missile defence systems, unmanned and autonomous vehicles, long-range strike platforms and systems, space and combat vehicles.”
There we go – blowing stuff up everywhere, even in space.
There is nothing wrong with BAE having a sustainability agenda, though it is not obvious what that might mean, nor in the company flagging that they do have one.
But to most of us it is not primarily what they are about.
It should go down the bottom, not at the top.
If the first thing someone told you about themselves was that they prioritise durability in all transactions across the consumer-facing environment, you’d feel awkward.
But so much corporate language is just like that. For whom is it written?
Stereotypes are still the biggest barrier to women reaching corporate heights, says this from Nyenrode Business University.
It tells us: “Because of these descriptive stereotypes, women are not regarded as competent, but when they have proven to be competent, they are often disliked.”