Many people do not automatically associate private sector enterprises as agents for social justice. However, with many public-private partnerships forming along with companies driving innovation and becoming more aware of how their products can advance social justice, for-profits are increasingly becoming agents for social change.
Furthermore, with the recent advent of social entrepreneurship, many companies are finding ways to enact social change using market-based methods. Using this section, you can explore the impact various for-profits are having as agents of social justice.
Different companies have varying missions, priorities, and cultures that serve various stakeholders. Exploring these different companies and finding how each company’s mission, priorities, and culture fits into your interests, skills, and personality is important for any job. However, those interested in actively incorporating social justice as a part of their career will need to find out about how the company’s products are used, who the products serve, the general business practices of the company, and its involvement in the community.
A list of links to help you research companies is listed below.
100 Best Corporate Citizens 100 Best Corporate Citizens as compiled by Corporate Responsibility, the largest corporate responsibility publication in circulation.
Corp Watch Corp Watch: A guide compiling research about the ethics of corporations in order to ensure accountability and transparency
Business for a Better World The Business for a Better World is an organization creating a network of global companies to foster sustainable development practices
Careers in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The corporate social Responsibility department is a department within a company that works to extend the company’s overall mission by creating policies of built-in, self-regulations. They do this so that the company can have a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Corporate social responsibility department officers look to encourage community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminate practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Those working in Corporate Social Responsibility are guided by the mantra of honoring a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.
What Potential Job Functions/Projects are the Corporate Social Responsibility Departments Responsible for?
- Defining the CSR agenda, driving innovative initiatives and measuring the effectiveness of the program overall.
- Organizing service programs and service days for employees to get involved in the community in meaningful and sustainable ways.
- Ensuring that the CSR program is kept current for all regulations and market trends. Study, research and report on CSR trends, policy and competitive best practices in order to identify program gaps and business or legislative trends that could shape the program.
- Managing mentorship programs both internal and external amongst employees.
- Identifying company practices and helping reform them to meet an ethical, environmental, or general socially responsible standards.
- Managing projects that both meet both public and company interests.
highlighting and defending the company’s CSR practices.
Interview About Careers in Corporate Social Responsibility
Get insight from this interview with Susan McDermott of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility as she shares her insight into corporate social responsibility, how to "break-in"to the not-for-profit sector, and what students can do while they are at Columbia to maximize their experience.
Why Work in Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is a relatively new concept, and many jobs within the field are not as concretely defined. This allows those in the field to create new and innovative initiatives that align the company’s mission with an idealistic pursuit for social justice. Furthermore, it allows employees to build relationships with customers, suppliers, government officials, and members of the community and seek a diverse array of opinions to design and build an innovative Corporate Social Responsibility program. The responsibilities of the work are cross-departmental, and involve both day-to-day work and more longer-term projects.
To Learn More about CSR Jobs/Careers
Business Week CSR Jobs Listing Listing of CSR Jobs by Bloomberg’s weekly publication, Business Week.
LinkedIn: CSR Professionals Linked In Page to Network with CSR Professionals
BSR Listing of CSR Jobs Listing of CSR Jobs from the Business for a Better World network.