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Higher Expectations: How Organizations Engage with Social Change Issues

The public prominence of social change issues is influencing how many organizations operate. The challenge for organizations is to determine the costs and benefits, and thus the overall impact, of taking a stand on the social change issues that affect customers, employees, owners, and the communities in which they operate. Simply put, social change issues matter to organizations because they matter to many of their employees and customers, both of whom affect overall profitability.

To determine how organizations approach social change, we conducted an online survey with over 500 respondents across various industries, functions, and levels, and interviewed 10 human resources (HR), sustainability, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) leaders at global organizations in different industries. This report outlines how organizations are responding to social change and the choices they have when they decide to do so.

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Executive Summary
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Robin Erickson, PhD

Principal Researcher
The Conference Board


Amanda Popiela

Researcher, Human Capital
The Conference Board