The changes wrought by the last year have pushed an array of stakeholders to the front of conversations about how companies should operate, and to whom they are responsible besides just their shareholders. The pandemic cast a stark light on employee protections and treatment, especially for essential workers, and showed how companies could and should relate to their communities. The racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd also prompted companies to look inward at how they could more aggressively combat the inequalities still embedded in our society fifty years after the civil rights movement.
This summer, we’re publishing “The Accountability Issue” to focus on how the best companies are holding themselves accountable to their own employees, to their consumers, and to the communities where they operate. This issue features a mix of in-house professionals talking about their own companies’ efforts to look at their practices, center the needs of stakeholders, and drive change. At the same time, outside experts offer perspectives on what research and advocacy has taught them about changing attitudes among the public–customers, regulators, and communities now expect much more than bottom-line thinking from the private sector.