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Directors & Boards: Why Corporations Have an Important Role to Play in Political and Social Issues

With so much dysfunction and partisanship coming out of Washington, Americans are increasingly frustrated with the government’s inability to get things done. As a result, Americans are looking elsewhere for leadership on important issues, and corporations and their leaders increasingly have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to fill that role. GSG’s Tanya Meck and Julie Hootkin explain Why Corporations Have an Important Role to Play in Political and Social Issues in their co-authored piece in Directors & Boards.

See below for an excerpt or click here for the full piece.

Consumers are more aware of corporate stances on social and political issues than ever before. Our study indicates that awareness of corporate political engagement is at an all-time high, having nearly doubled from 15% to 29% since 2014. More and more, consumers say they would be more willing to recommend or buy a product or service from a brand that supports policies and issues important to them.

Not surprisingly, these feelings are even more pronounced among millennials, for whom doing business and doing good are increasingly intertwined and expected. CI offers a new way to engage this employee group that is on-track to become the largest percentage of our workforce and an increasingly powerful consumer group. 

But it goes beyond buying power. While only 1 in 3 millennials currently invest in the stock market2, according to a 2016 U.S. Trust Report3, 8 in 10 millennials pursue higher returns with higher risks. And 93% of millennials agree that social or environmental impact is important to their investment decisions. In addition, according to a 2013 report4 by the Spectrem Group, 45% of wealthy millennials factor social responsibility into their investment decision-making.

Whether it is socially responsible investing, taking a position on a current issue, or making a business decision that advances the public good as well as the bottom line, expectations for CI are trending upward.

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