Businesses are an integral part of the community, if you are a business leader, your role goes way beyond simply selling products. Companies need to understand their influence and power, using their voice to advocate for positive change. There are so many ways that your company can support social justice issues. So let’s take a look.
1 . Support the right companies
Being a socially responsible company isn’t just about your own values, it’s about the values of the companies that you work with. Review the policies and practices of your suppliers, your partners, and any other third parties. Are you working with businesses with social missions? Could you work with companies that are run by marginalized groups (for instance, the LGBTQ+ community, BIPOC, or female-led companies.)?
When you’re thinking about social justice issues it’s also worth considering environmental causes. Are you working with businesses that use eco-friendly practices? If not, can you make any changes here?
2. Support charity organizations
Companies can campaign for social justice by supporting charities and organizations. For some starting-point ideas here are some great projects to support or work with:
Anti-human trafficking organizations
This global non-profit works to protect children from online abuse, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. The charity focuses on knowledge, awareness, and prevention, and is made up of over one hundred partner members across 100 countries.
A charity that supports orphans, including victims of trafficking and abuse. This organization uses job placement assistance and training, to break cycles of poverty and abuse.
For All Seasons Anti-Human Trafficking Program
This company offers training for members of the community, and professionals, helping individuals to spot trafficking indicators and red flags. The program educates people about responding to victims and offering assistance. To learn more take a look at the For All Seasons website.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is a global network foundation, it was founded back in 2013 following the murder of Trayvon Martin, (BLM, 2021). The mission of the organization is to, ‘eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.’
The Loveland Foundation
This fantastic non-profit works to support women and girls of color, providing mental health support within these communities. The Loveland Foundation understands that several barriers stop women of color from accessing therapy. By removing these barriers, more and more women are getting the health support they need.
General social justice organizations
Likely, you’ve already heard of Amnesty International, one of the biggest social justice organizations ever. The organization is involved in all sorts of human rights campaigning projects. Amnesty work to fight any abuse of human rights, including the death penalty, child rights, freedom of expression, police violence, and lots more.
Upwardly Global is an organization that supports refugees and immigrants. Research data shows that millions of refugees and immigrants have professional work experience and degrees. Even so, due to systemic barriers, they are often left unemployed. Upwardly Global works to support these people to re-start their careers.
3 . Diversity & inclusion
Supporting social justice isn’t just about looking outward, it’s about examining your own values and practices, seeing where you can make improvements. There are many different ways that you can build a more diverse and inclusive workplace including:
Understand unconscious bias
According to The EW Group, ‘Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, is what happens when we act on subconscious, deeply ingrained biases, stereotypes, and attitudes formed from our inherent human cognition, experiences, upbringing, and environment.’
When people act on certain assumptions and gut instincts, they can accidentally be acting with unconscious bias. In this way, it’s possible to unfairly discriminate against someone, without realizing it. To address the problem, business leaders should work on building awareness. Encourage your employees to reflect and analyze their assumptions and personal bias.
Business leaders must ensure pay equality throughout the organization. It’s important to ensure that individuals in the same role are paid equally, regardless of gender or background. It’s up to business leaders to ensure that marginalized groups receive fair pay. At the same time, entrepreneurs need to make sure that certain employees are not being underpaid compared to other departments.
4. Raise awareness
One of the best ways to campaign for social justice issues is by raising awareness. There are many ways that you can raise awareness of social causes, from fundraising events to using your social media pages. Involving yourself in good causes is a great way to develop a strong CSR strategy. Studies show that consumers prefer to buy from socially responsible brands. Creating a great CSR strategy is one of the best ways to keep up with your competitors.
Social media is a great place to take a stand on the social issues that are important to you. If you want to grow your following and succeed, it’s important to use your voice.
5. Stay informed
If you’re keen to support social justice you must stay informed. Educate yourself on key issues, inclusive language, and aim to be a role model. It’s your role to help your employees to learn new things and grow. You might consider putting programs in place, to help them get involved with charitable causes. To keep on improving your brand it’s important to reflect on your processes.
6. Inclusive marketing
When you’re marketing your brand you must think about inclusivity. To ensure inclusive advertising you’ll have to demonstrate diversity in your marketing campaigns. You’ll need to think about representations of gender, languages, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Ensure that you show diversity in your images, your videos, and social media posts.
To improve your inclusive marketing you can collect feedback from your audience. You should ask your audience how they perceive your campaign. Using this data you can strive to make your campaigns even better. Using ideas like these you’ll build a socially responsible company and have a positive effect on your community.