This is what A+ CSR Looks Like

AhahnBlog

Unless you were living under a rock or couldn’t tear yourself away from the livestream of April the pregnant giraffe you probably were aware that yesterday was International Women’s Day.

Companies big and small celebrated and recognized the day in lots of different ways.  A few school districts in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina closed and folks debated how we should celebrate this important day.

Through all the offline and online conversations that took place yesterday, a lot of the brand talk started to feel like noise. Save for one organization: State Street Global Advisors. By erecting ‘Fearless Girl,’ the night before International Women’s Day, State Street owned the news cycle, while promoting a very important message.

Here’s why it worked:

  • They identified an important problem One out of every four (25%) of the companies on the Russell 3000 Index (this index encompasses the 3,000 largest U.S.-traded stocks, in which the underlying companies are all incorporated in the U.S ) does not have even one woman on their corporate board. And nearly 60% of these companies have a corporate board comprised of less than 15% women.  Clearly corporate America needs to do better.
  • They proposed a solution- The good news is every company in the Russell 3000 – an index of the 3,000 largest U.S.-traded stocks- has the power to address this issue. Ron O’Hanley, the president and chief executive officer of State Street Global Advisors shared some specific guidance and provided a blueprint for what companies should do to increase gender diversity as a part of a keynote speech he delivered at the Corporate Governance Symposium. It’s wonky but hey that’s corporate governance!
  • They walk the walk- As part of State Street’s effort, they specifically called on the 3,500 companies they invest in on behalf of their clients to take steps to increase the gender diversity of their corporate boards. And State Street Corporation, the parent company of State Street Global Advisors, has 3 women on their 11 person Corporate Board of Directors. Not 50/50, but according to their own research it’s better than most publicly traded companies.
  • They made the campaign easy to communicate and share- While a very important issue, gender diversity on corporate boards is not the easiest and simplest thing to talk about. But by casting a bronze statue and placing it in the heart of corporate America on Wall Street, next to the iconic bull, it became the face of the campaign and an instant tourist attraction.

Simply put, what State Street Global Advisors did was an effective CSR campaign. Later this month at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Corporate and Agency CSR leaders will gather at the annual PR News CSR Awards to recognize some of the best practices in the CSR industry. Shameless plug alert- for the third year in a row my firm VOX Global  will be recognized, along with ten other great agencies as an Agency CSR A-List award winner. We will all gather over a rubber chicken lunch that will drag on for too long to talk about award-winning CSR campaigns in lots of different and important categories.

If you are not able to attend that luncheon; fear not, for the best of CSR is currently being showcased on Wall Street as a four-foot bronze statue named “Fearless Girl” who already has her own Wikipedia page and a petition to make her a permanent feature.  Thanks to the efforts of groups like State Street, I have a feeling she’s not the only woman about to take up a high-power residence on Wall Street.

This is what A+ CSR Looks Like

AhahnBlog

Unless you were living under a rock or couldn’t tear yourself away from the livestream of April the pregnant giraffe you probably were aware that yesterday was International Women’s Day.
Companies big and small celebrated and recognized the day in lots of different ways.  A few school districts in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina closed and folks debated how we should celebrate this important day.
Through all the offline and online conversations that took place yesterday, a lot of the brand talk started to feel like noise. Save for one organization: State Street Global Advisors. By erecting ‘Fearless Girl,’ the night before International Women’s Day, State Street owned the news cycle, while promoting a very important message.
Here’s why it worked:

They identified an …

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March 9, 2017  by Alex Hahn

This is what A+ CSR Looks Like

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