This week I was forwarded the list of Canada’s 50 Best Corporate Citizens (2011). It’s a list that Corporate Knights (“the Magazine for Clean Capitalism”) started about 10 years ago.
Who knew there was such a list? I was amazed!
I discovered through Madelaine Drohan’s article in the report (entitled Big country, small steps) that corporate social responsibility can mean very different things; from making sure child labour isn’t used in the supply chain, to building schools in Africa, to preventing high school drop outs right here at home. Not bad, I thought. Good to know that there are large companies that are looking at more than profits. Hooray!
Further into the report, I came across a scorecard which tracks “the environmental, social and governance performance of the S&P/TSX60 Companies on the 2011 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. I thought I would find some great stats about what these companies are doing internally as well, to match their social responsibility externally.
I was disappointed.
A few things stand out in particular among these stats about corporate citizens who are up to some great things:
- the number of female company directors in 2010 was 14.61% (UP from 14.49% in 2009, but still low)
- the number of company directors who were either visible minorities or aboriginal in 2010 was 2.92% (DOWN from 4.06 in 2009)
- and the ratio of CEO salary to the lowest paid employees salary INCREASED by 8.70%
I’m not sure why I’m surprised. I often see companies making efforts in diversity and inclusion outside their walls (arguably where it looks good and they get kudos) before tackling any change inside. I guess I thought that with the corporate halo shining brightly for these 50 companies, that maybe, just maybe, they would be different. I know it’s just a graph and I don’t have the whole story by far, but it suggests a lot.
Would it be great if corporate social responsibility included creating an inclusive, welcoming workplace that valued diversity and inclusion – with representation at all levels and smaller pay gaps (for example) to prove it?
Copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity and inclusion