Yesterday's WSJ reported on a new initiative taking place at Deloitte, which is aiming to stir up social responsibility among its employees and make corporate social responsibility a firmwide priority—as if there was actually a choice in the matter … Global Managing Partner Ainar Aijala stated, “When you look at what clients expect of an organization like ours, there is actually not a choice,” adding that corporate responsibility is no longer being sidelined. “If you want to be successful it requires placing [social initiatives] right at the core.”
Well, if they must … the first project on the docket, set to start in March 2010, is a program called Deloitte21, where firm representatives go into high schools and help students build skills like ethics, innovative thinking and global awareness. Participants will also lead a local education project through an existing nonprofit in their area, in addition to taking a monthly online course and a three-day executive education program.
On top of doing good, Deloitte is hoping that the program, and others like it, will help recruit top candidates and boost retention rates. Aijala also explains that the project increases the firm's brand awareness around the world and builds a strong network of future hires. So much for ethics for ethics' sake, but nonetheless, some good should come of this.
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