"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford
Spring is a time of transition. Here in Boston, we at the Center are beginning to feel the sense of possibility that accompanies the season. Throughout this long winter, corporate citizenship practitioners have kept their noses to the grindstone, and have continued to accomplish remarkable goals. Now, with the new season, it’s time to step back and take stock of where we are in this field, what we hope to accomplish, and how we plan to get there together.
There’s no doubt that the achievements that are reached by teams of CSR professionals across the globe far exceeds the number of people engaged in these efforts—and the results that are accomplished by considering the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of business can affect the lives of thousands, as illustrated by Member company Target’s recent decision to raise their minimum wage.
Target’s decision to increase their lowest compensation bands follows similar moves from fellow Member companies Ikea and Disney. For many industries, wage concerns are a pressing CSR issue, and companies will be looking to these forerunners to see how they navigate the associated business and social ramifications.
Another CSR issue that has recently received a lot of attention from Member companies is diversity and inclusion, particularly for the tech sector. Earlier in the year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave considerable airtime to this issue in his investor meeting remarks, and earlier this month, Cisco outlined the extensive effort they put into increasing female representation in their operating committee. These efforts follow Intel’s impressive move to allocate $300 million to workplace diversity.
These efforts exemplify one of the most basic notions of corporate citizenship—and of business in general: Nothing occurs in a vacuum. To be effective, CSR practitioners must keep their ears to the ground, stay informed about emerging regulations, social and political trends, and the work of their peers and competitors. At the Center, we not only want to help educate you on these matters, but also facilitate events—like our upcoming 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Conference April 19-21st in Austin, TX--- that provide CSR professionals the opportunity, insights, and atmosphere to network with others in the field, share stories, and learn from each other.
We hope to see you there.
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