Business Engagement in Social & Economic Inclusion Research

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OUTLINE OF EXAMPLES OF POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES WHICH THE RESEARCH JUDGED TO SUPPORT SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION

The following outlines examples of various policies, activities and practices which the research judged to support social and economic inclusion. These were used to assess the corporate social responsibility social and economic inclusion level of effort of the companies reviewed during the secondary research phase of the project.

Progressive and proactive HR Employment / Career Creation / Training / Remuneration and Promotion policies and practices which seek to proactively increase employment and career opportunities for marginalized persons living in economically distressed communities or challenging personal circumstances.  For example:

  • Single young parents, particularly mothers.
  • Low income / working poor families, particularly with a single female parent.
  • Unemployed and under-employed persons.
  • Youth at risk of becoming involved in violence or crime.
  • People with mental illness.
  • People with disabilities.
  • First Nations members.
  • Immigrants.
  • Percentage of Women in management.
  • Degree to which work force reflects the ethnic profile of local community.  How is this implemented and measured?
  • Anti-discrimination policies and enforcement.
  • Awareness of and support for day care needs – particularly for single parents.
  • Efforts to support a living wage.
  • Flexibility of work hours to pick up children from day care or catch the last bus home for the night which enables the employee from economically distressed communities to actually be employed in other more economically vibrant areas of the municipality.
  • Employee Assistance Programs for substance abuse or mental illness to enable the employees from economically distressed communities or marginalized populations to continue their employment.

Supporting community social and economic development activities for economically distressed communities or marginalized populations.  For example:

  • Seconding employees to train, mentor and develop NGO staff and help build NGO capacity, particularly in the company’s core competencies.
  • Training company employees in Board of Director governance Best Practices to enable them to mentor and coach NGO boards.
  • Matching dollar contribution of employees in charitable giving.
  • Donating company product or selling company product at reduced prices for fundraising.
  • Supporting a restorative justice project or initiatives to reduce community violence.
  • Supporting family planning and parenting education / information for economically distressed communities or marginalized populations.
  • Adopting an economically distressed neighbourhood or a family or a school.

Creative use of company’s products, services or operations or selling / trade marketing practices to support social and economic inclusion.  For example:

  • Employing or setting up residents living in distressed communities as entrepreneurial distributors to sell and distribute the company’s products in those communities.
  • Making unused company capacity or assets, such as vehicles, available for community social and economic development NGOs.

Supports and conducts Social / Ethical Purchasing.  For example:

  • Will not purchase from suppliers who use child labour or sweat labour and supports suppliers who pay a living wage.
  • Proactively seeks to measure / monitor and comply with this practice.
  • Allowing company employees to take time off for voluntary service, such as Volunteer Afternoons – with pay or with partial pay.
  • Encouraging and supporting company employees to volunteer as teaching mentors in community economic development programs.
  • Supports “fairtrade” suppliers.
  • Purposefully makes the effort to buy from suppliers who are operating in or purposefully employing from economically distressed communities or marginalized populations.

Support for educational development efforts for students from economically distressed communities or marginalized populations.  For example:

  • After school tutoring and mentoring.
  • Education, arts, science, math camps.
  • Adopt a School / Class programmes.
  • Donating educational materials and teaching aids.Sports and extra-curricular activities.
  • Directs funds donated to post secondary institutions for scholarships to be, at least in part, directed to students, who are disadvantaged by social or economic exclusion.