Last week I attended a very interesting workshop. Called the CSR Practitioner Workshop, hosted by leading European think tank Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE). Surrounded by individuals from across industries, some experienced in the many aspects of CSR and others looking for a foundation, most represented the top echelon of executives at their respective employers. There was a Director of Sustainability, a Director of Sales, a Senior Consultant, another Director of Business Development, a VP of HR and a Director of Community Relations.
These were individuals who had realized they needed to jump in this race for sustainability quick. In the late 1990s, the same was happening with “diversity.” Human Resources directors and marketing executives were attending workshops and seminars on how to initiate diversity training programs, how to mentor their staff and how to spread awareness of different cultures and ethnicities.
Even then, some executives pooh-poohed the concept.
There weren’t enough budget dollars, not enough bandwidth, and for others not enough interest. Eventually though, we became a flatter world, business went global, talent immigrated across countries and everyone adopted some level of diversity policies and hired diversity experts/personnel to continue doing business while being “corporately and socially correct.”