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TrailBlazers: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity by Lenora Billings-Harris, Redia Anderson

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Chapter 9. Community Involvement and Social Responsibility

Is It Just Good Public Relations or Is There More?

Community Involvement: A Responsibility and Good Business

There are many and varied definitions of community that can be accurately applied to business. Our primary focus, however, is on the relationship that organizations have with external communities or societies with whom they conduct business and/or geographies within which they are physically located. Our Trailblazers deem this relationship critical to the success of diversity and inclusion within their businesses, as this involvement drives results in several ways.

Although progressive leaders see community involvement as a corporate responsibility, none consider these actions to be "obligations" in the negative sense. Being responsible to the citizens you employ and serve is good business. Making sure these efforts relate to and support company diversity and inclusion credos and missions strengthens the business and defines the company's footprint in the marketplace.

Companies have known for years that supporting community efforts can reflect positively on the organization. So are these efforts just good public relations, or is there more? According to Citi CDO Ana Duarte-McCarthy, "We're seeing a correlation between corporate responsibility and community involvement, and people getting more engaged. Being involved with the community leads to having a better representation of employees that reflect the community." When ...

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