Corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals are involved in a function that is still evolving. Their roles and responsibility, however, are gaining more focus and importance as a cynical public becomes more wary of large corporations’ activities. Many managers in the CSR field are focused on “corporate citizenship,” and Boston College released a great study on the topic this week.
So who are these professionals, whose titles are all over the map, what is their background, and what is the typical day on the job? The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College published its Profile of the Profession, the findings of which may surprise or disappoint you, depending on your point of view or where are you at in your career. The report profiled over 600 profiles across a wide array of companies, and weaves a narrative about a typical day for these professionals.
According to the Boston College survey, corporate citizenship leaders spend most of their time building relationships inside and outside of the company, about 85% of the time all told. As this is a relatively new development, the vast majority of them stated that they had backgrounds in other fields other than CSR or corporate citizenship: 93% to be exact. Nevertheless, almost 70% have taken steps to educate themselves in this field, with about 20% stating they completed a certification program.
Volunteering and philanthropic donations are the most important facets of those who participated in Boston College’s survey. The Implementation of CSR programs is the responsibility that most respondents cite, followed by community involvement and the development of a corporate citizenship strategy. So how do they accomplish these goals? The respondents stated that the ability to influence, leadership, and networking building were the most critical skills they needed to combine vision with persistence and success in spreading the corporation’s CSR message across the organization. And their work is local: although over 60% worked at companies with a global presence, only 34% said that their work involved global responsibilities.
Finally, if you thought CSR was a woman’s world, you assumed correctly—to a point. By a 3-to-1 margin, the study showed that women dominated this function. However, those who held a senior or executive title were men by almost a 2-to-1 ratio, which leads to men on average making about 20% more in this function than women.
An executive summary and the complete report are available on Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship site: you must sign up and become a member to view the entire report.