2020 will go down in history as a defining moment and catalyst in the long fight for social justice. It was a year of awakening for some, acknowledgement for others and activism for many, but above all, it was a year of reckoning. 2020 demanded change.
For some companies, change had been brewing for years. Yet, for many, 2020 put brands on notice – some for the first time. Consumers, employees and other stakeholders charged companies to acknowledge their role in systemic injustices – and actively change the system.
Now, it’s time to make good on promises made.
Introducing the 2021 Porter Novelli Business & Social Justice Study.
Key findings include:
- Silence has consequences: Six-in-10 (59%) Americans say it is no longer acceptable for companies to be silent on social justice issues and a further 49% say they assume companies that remain quiet on social justice issues don’t care.
- Speaking out is welcome, but it comes with accountability: Two-thirds (66%) say they appreciate when companies they haven’t heard from before join the dialogue, but 60 percent will hold a company accountable when it makes a statement of support around specific social justice issues.
- Corporate communications can normalize topics and drive change: Six-in-10 (60%) are optimistic that as companies begin to address social justice issues, we will see real change – and 62% believe companies can help normalize social justice conversations through their marketing and communications.
- Employees expect more from employers: More than half (58%) of employees today say they hold their employer to a higher standard than other companies when it comes to addressing social justice issues and 43% say they are reconsidering their current job because their company is not doing enough to address social justice issues externally.