James Roberts argues that it's all about over-regulation:
In the last few years, private companies have embraced the progressive principles of “corporate social responsibility” and joined “public-private partnerships” with various government entities and non-governmental organizations, who liaise daily with their corporate partners and enforce “voluntary” corporate social responsibility principles, at all levels of government—federal, state, and local. ...
As Maggie Gallagher noted last month in National Review, although in the past corporations were eager to avoid public controversy, the “massive expansion of vague regulations under the Obama administration means that virtually every major corporation in America has some interest in keeping Washington off of their backs” and so they have waded “directly into the culture wars” as “a cheap strategy to curry favor.”
But, really, why would firms engaged in the production of good or services—activities that benefit everyone and should be non-political—choose to stake out extremely partisan positions and risk alienating many of their customers? Maybe they feel they have no choice.
Maybe they concluded there is just too much risk from free-wheeling progressive bureaucrats wielding regulatory mandates that could damage their image, cost them big money—even put them out of business, if they do not toe the radical line.
I don't buy it. I think it's a combination of virtue signaling, the business world equivalent of the Linda Greenhouse effect, and the Ivy League/Upper East Side bubble most of them live in. Most large corporation CEOs these days live in families and social circles where social conservatism is regarded as moronic, retrograde, trailer trash, flyover country nonsense. Acting out as SJWs keeps their spouses and kids off their backs, ensures that the NY Times will say nice things about them, gets their pictures on the society pages, and gets them invited to all the best parties. It lets them hobnob with Hollywood elites and hang out with at Clinton Foundation functions. And it differentiates them from the proles in the GOP base. At most, responding to regulatory pressure just tips them in a direction they were already moving on their own volition.