An abundance of jobs, paired with the rise of transferable skills and the newfound mobility that workers enjoy, leaves companies with the task of continuously coming up with new and innovative ways to keep talent. On top of it, the workforce demographic is in the midst of a monumental shift, with Brookings reporting that nearly 75% of the 2025 workforce will be made up of millennials. Competitive salaries and a robust benefit package have become the baseline for this population of employees. What studies are now showing is an uptick in employees choosing to work for companies that are focused on making an impact. As employers start to look at what attracts this new generation of workers, social responsibility continues to be a difference maker.
The term “social responsibility” remains an ambiguous one, leaving up for interpretation how businesses and individuals alike can set aside their own interests for the sake of the greater good. Since the 1900’s, we’ve witnessed the evolution of the idea starting with a few wealthy business owners supporting social causes followed closely by the creation of foundations and charitable trusts. About half way through the 20th century was when businesses themselves began to support charities and then, in the 1970’s, the Committee for Economic Development formally introduced the idea of the “social contract” between businesses and society. Since then, no real consensus on what constituted social responsibility was concluded, but a number of companies put together their own models to hang their hats on.
As the trend toward social responsibility continues, it’s worth taking a closer examination of what that term means to us. Is it not simply a public relations ploy, but a genuine effort to make the world a better place. At Amalgamated, it’s the foundation of our policies and practices. It’s why we have pledged to go carbon neutral; it’s why we offer fossil fuel free funds; it’s why we created our carbon accounting measurement tool; it’s why we’re a certified B Corporation and member of the Global Alliance on Values; and it’s why we continue to find new ways to improve the world we live in. As someone who has been employed in the financial sector for some years, this is refreshing.
Amalgamated believes in the change makers in the world and we have worked hard to build a team that consists of them and supports them. Our goal is to provide our employees with a place that they can leave at the end of the day knowing they’ve made a difference. Whether it’s tracking a portfolio’s carbon footprint, providing a loan for a nonprofit fighting for human rights or wiring funds for a last minute campaign ad to elect progressive leaders, our employees know their work is helping to create a more just, compassionate and sustainable planet. That’s what social responsibility means to us and we’re betting that it will help attract the next generation of leaders.