April 10th to April 16th is National Volunteer Week, a celebration of Canada's 12.7 million volunteers -- that's nearly a third of the country's population. With such a passion for volunteerism, it's no wonder that Canadians, like employees in other parts of the world, are looking to their places of work for more opportunities to give back.
The Lean In zeitgeist says individual women can take personal responsibility for failure and act to achieve success. Meanwhile, recent research says there is an unconscious bias in corporate Canada that prevents equally qualified women from attaining the same level of success as men. The Lean In school is decidedly wrong. In short, both men and women need to lean in to create equity in business. It's the only way to achieve balance.
Ultimately, creating a Corporate Social Responsibility policy may seem like a daunting, distant proposition. But if your company is committed to upholding far-reaching and long-term sustainability standards, it's best to be clear about what that means and demonstrate that commitment by weaving it into your corporate DNA early on.
The Lac Megantic rail disaster is a terrible tragedy for the many who suffered loss. It is also an object lesson in why industries dominated by large corporations cannot be trusted to regulate themselves -- not even when there is nominal oversight by government. Corporations, when they grow large, go public, and take on professional management teams, devolve from being human institutions governed at least in part by genuine ethical constraints, into machine-like entities that are devoid of moral sensibility.
The shock felt by Canadians following the recent tragedy in Bangladesh shows that we, as a country, care deeply about the welfare of others. In the wake of this tragedy, the NDP has called for stronger corporate accountability rules. Action to strengthen corporate accountability for Canadian companies operating and contracting work overseas is well overdue.
The sense of duty, responsibility and stewardship in Downton Abbey are nothing less than old-fashioned words for the "modern" concept that a few corporations are once again embracing: Corporate Social Responsibility. But with one important difference: Robert Crowley, the Earl of Grantham, is an individual as opposed to a corporation. And, he takes this responsibility very seriously.
In these days of financial crisis and shrinking government budgets for international development, international charities are teaming up with new and sometimes unexpected bedfellows in the business world. Looking to the corporate world is increasingly an option. That said, it's healthy to be cynical about corporate motives when they get involved in humanitarian work.
Sustainability doesn't only apply to business practices and our communities -- we need to be mindful of how it plays out in our personal lives as well, especially in the workplace. Burnout and overwork in corporate life have become so commonplace now that we just accept it as a permanent state of affairs.
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, only charities could celebrate positive impact on society. Is it really that difficult to spot that magic spot where social and financial profit intersect? Based on first-hand experience I would say it's not -- in fact there are plenty of other obvious examples all around us.
The window of opportunity to ensure a corporate responsibility system in Canada is open now. So, as many commentators have pointed out, while the planned demonstrations don't have specific proposals for change, demonstrators can easily join with the coalitions in supporting the push for these key changes.