Host and Common Impact CEO Danielle Holly is joined by Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Social Responsibility Officer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of the largest technology firms in the world.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, employees worldwide have been dealing with a broad range of circumstances, challenges, and needs. Some struggle to balance their childcare, school, and their day-to-day jobs while others grapple with isolation. Throughout, people with marginalized identities—in particular, people of color—have experienced disproportionate health impacts and a higher death rate, as well as the effects of structural racism and systemic discrimination.
Companies around the world have remained silent to their role in racism for centuries. No matter how well-crafted or well-intended, it is not enough for corporations to just make public statements and large donations to racial justice organizations. Without action, these statements can land as nothing more than platitudes from a PR playbook.
The events of 2020 have made it even clearer that one of the most pressing issues we face together in society is inequality and the lack of access and opportunity that goes with it. Around the world, this unfortunate reality has many faces, and it pressures the lives of too many individuals, families and communities. Though addressing inequality is challenging and complex and there is no easy fix, as the world’s largest restaurant company, we’re at an inflection point where our actions can, and should, make real and lasting change.
10 actions to help people stand up against racism and social injustice
Recent events involving racial inequity and injustice have shown us that racism is still very much alive. Change starts with each of us and we can play a role in addressing the far-too-prevalent discrimination against Black individuals—both now and in the future, forever.
Some companies are helping their people take action. And many are looking to strengthen their existing diversity and inclusion programs to create long-term, collective impact.
“In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death in Minneapolis, major corporations have been voicing their support for racial justice in the United States. But we are way past the point when words alone suffice. Actions are needed. Corporations can and should make 10 concrete commitments to achieving racial equity in their workplaces and society.”
- Mark Kramer, co-founder and managing director, FSG
FSG co-founder and managing director Mark Kramer reviews Rebecca Henderson’s Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire, which outlines five ways we can reform capitalism to overcome climate change, inequality, and the collapse of democracy.
By learning from this crisis and others before it, foundations can do more—individually and as an alliance—to identify and prepare themselves and their partners for major threats in the future and their impact on long-term efforts to solve serious social problems. Doing so will help ensure that the opportunities for innovative solutions created by a crisis today become the building blocks of a more just world tomorrow.
This week on Pro Bono Perspectives, host Danielle Holly welcomes to the show Cecily Joseph, a CSR powerhouse with a rich career across the private and social sectors. Cecily is Chair of the Board of Directors at Net Impact and was formerly Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec and the head of its foundation. At Symantec, Cecily oversaw ESG program development and implemented initiatives focused on bringing underrepresented groups - including women and people of color - into the technology sector.