Companies are no longer in the clear when it comes to avoiding social issues, as a new poll suggests that more than half of Canadians calling for corporations to take a stance on sexism and racism.
According to the Ipsos survey, published last week, 54 per cent of Canadians support companies taking a public stance – more than double those that don’t. Meanwhile, roughly 26 per cent said they were neutral on a company’s decision.
The poll comes one month after Nike took a gamble in associating with ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick – a decision business analysts has said paid off with increased sales figures. That’s despite some former Nike customers taking to social media to participate in a #justburnit campaign which involved people burning and cutting the logo off their shoes.
But long before Kaepernick took a knee to protest, Ipsos pollsters say younger Canadians were looking for a greater focus on social issues.
“They rank ‘social inequality’ as a top concern; support fairness and equality regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender, and say there are other ways they can get involved in society beyond voting,” the Ipsos survey findings read.
When asked if companies should take a public position on social issues like racism or sexism, men and women were both split with 54 and 55 per cent agreeing, and 22 and 17 per cent disagreeing.
By age, millennials were most in favour, with 57 per cent agreeing and 19 per cent disagreeing. Roughly 54 per cent of baby boomers agreed, with 20 per cent against the idea. While 50 per cent of Generation X respondents supported the move, 29 per cent remained neutral.
By province, B.C. and Atlantic provinces were most in favour, at 58 and 61 per cent.
Meanwhile, Alberta respondents were least likely to support companies in their public stance on social matters, at 49 per cent.