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Ah, Those Annual Lists!

January 28, 2013

There are three annual lists related to the field of Corporate Social Responsibility that were released this past month (no, not the Golden Globes, Grammys or Oscar nominations!). In case you've missed one or more of them, I thought I would recap them here.

Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For 2013

Google once again topped the list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013. This list is compiled each year primarily on the basis of employees' responses to the Great Place to Work Trust Index, a proprietary employee survey developed by the Great Place to Work Institute, and materials submitted by the company, including the company's response to the Great Place to Work Culture Audit.

According to the Great Place to Work Institute, the benefits of being recognized as a Best Company are:

  • Wide-reaching recognition at a local and national media level (millions of impressions)
  • Attract top talent (on average 42 applicants for every open position)
  • Higher retention (turnover is 2 to 4 times lower than industry norms)
  • Superior stock performance (companies outperform stock indices by a factor of 3).
The entire list can be found on-line, but in addition to major global companies like Microsoft, Starbucks and FedEx, there were several companies listed that have relatively small workforces (e.g., DreamWorks Animation with 2,181 employees, with 1,243 employees, Hasbro with 2,703), and a few nonprofit organizations that made the grade (e.g., Mayo Clinic at 41, St Jude Children's Research Hospital at 52, Teach for America at 60).

American Express moved from 60 in 2012 to 51 in 2013, an increase of 9 places or almost 10% so we were pleased with that recognition.

Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior 2013

Published by Trust Across America (TAA), this third annual listing highlights individuals who help create trustworthy organizations. According to TAA, which has been studying, defining and quantifying trustworthy business for the past four years, an organization cannot be deemed trustworthy without a culture that embraces strong and stable financials, conservative accounting, corporate integrity, transparency, sustainability and long-term reputation preservation.

This year's list reads like a "Who's Who" of writers, academics, consultants, business leaders and activists who are pushing the boundaries of what it means for an organization to be trustworthy in North America. Writers include: Thomas L. Friedman, Jeffrey Hollender, Patrick Lencioni, Gretchen Morgenson, and Tom Peters. Professors and academics include: Bill George (Harvard Business School), Daniel Diermeier (Kellogg School of Management), Jim Kouzes (Santa Clara University), Brian Moriarty (Darden School of Business), and David Vogel (Haas School of Business).

There are relatively few CEOs and business executives on the list -- Richard Branson (Virgin), Richard Edelman (Edelman) and Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Paul Polman (Unilever), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Ron Shaich (Panera Bread) being the exceptions – and similarly only a few CSR practitioners. Of the 100 individuals listed, only six are currently employed by companies in corporate social responsibility or sustainability roles (as far as I could determine from the bios). They are:

  • Dan Bross, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft
  • Michelle Green, Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility, NYSE Euronext
  • Mitch Jackson, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx
  • Par Larshans, Chief Sustainability Officer, Max Burgers (Sweden)
  • Kevin Moss, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BT North America
  • Dave Stangis, Vice President, Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, Campbell's Soup
My congratulations and best wishes to all these recognized thought leaders.

35 Female CSR Leaders You've (Possibly) Never Heard Of

As if to underscore the relative lack of women among CSR practitioners noted above, Triple Pundit recently released a list of 35 women who are practicing CSR in companies today. Making the assertion that "men still dominate CSR – at least at the higher levels," this report quotes GreenBiz's 2011 salary survey, which found that two-thirds of VP of Sustainability roles at large organizations are held by men, and a 20 percent pay gap between men and women at the highest levels of sustainability.

Noting that there is a strong connection between gender diversity and CSR, Triple Pundit included CSR leaders within organizations – "those women cranking out the CSR strategy and CSR reports who you don't get to hear from very often" and "a few thought leaders to round out the list."

Space doesn't allow me to list all 35 (you can find the entire list at, but I did note that Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions; Susan McPherson, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Marketing at Fenton; and Aman Singh, Editorial Director for CSRWire, made both this list and the Trust Across America Thought Leader list noted above.

So, my congratulations to all my friends and colleagues on this list as well!

If you have a comment or question, please share it here. Or, follow me on Twitter @tmcclimonCSRNow and comment there.

P.S. Did you know that Google has been in the top 10 of the Fortune Best Companies to Work For list since 2007?


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