‘How can young employees help global business become a force for good?’ This was the title of a panel discussion I had the pleasure of taking part in last week at One Young World – a summit of the brightest young leaders from around the world who debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.
There are two significant facts to consider here:
- Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are the first generation to grow up with the idea of corporate social responsibility as the norm, and they want to work for and do business with responsible companies. (Glass door)
- Within four years, millennials will make up 50 percent of the global workforce. (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
Yet, according to the One Young World organizers, less than a quarter of attendees indicated they feel Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion (CR&I) is currently a core part of business strategy of their employer, even though they – the next generation of leaders – want to make CR&I an integral part of a company’s existence.
So how do we address this disparity?
Our young employees are vital to ensuring global businesses are a force for good, but this is not something they can achieve in isolation. This is an area where generational diversity is key – we all have value to add; we all need to work together. At Thomson Reuters we support reverse mentoring and this is something I am now becoming involved in – working with one of our Millennials and One Young World delegates, to help identify future opportunities for CR&I.
This isn’t to say that Thomson Reuters is not already well on the way down the CR&I path. We have achieved a huge amount in the last year alone, including joining over 8,000 businesses worldwide in signing the UN Global Compact; a strong statement about our long-term commitment to the UN principles protecting human rights, labor, the environment, and combating corruption and fraud.
Last week we launched the Diversity & Inclusion Index, representing our commitment to partner with clients to develop best practices in this vital space.
And next month, we’re sponsoring the Bold Transparency track at the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Conference 2016: Be Bold. The annual BSR Conference is one of the world’s most influential events dedicated to sustainable business, and we’ll be there discussing the role that Thomson Reuters plays in transparency – operating in an open and accountable way – and the positive social impact on our company.
These are exciting times, and there is an even more exciting future ahead.
To be truly successful, we need the passion, commitment, and voices of our future leaders to present new, fresh ideas. We know they are committed to social impact and business as a force for good and our businesses need to encourage that. The support of current leaders will ensure the leaders of the future succeed, both now and in the future.
I’ll leave the final words with Justin Fan – one of our One Young World delegates from China who spoke in the same panel discussion as me:
“Always fearlessly speak up, boldly take actions, and become the future leader you aspire to be. Connect the dots with people or businesses, ask others how you can help; you’d be surprised how rewarding helping others will be. You’ll actually be making a real difference.”
Find out more about Thomson Reuters commitments to corporate responsibility and inclusion by visiting tr.com/cri.