Time, Talent, Treasure: Advice for Women in CSR

Guest post by Andrea Learned
Mar 7, 2012 10:30 PM ET

Years ago when I was doing some speaking related to the publishing of Don’t Think Pink, I got to know a group of women philanthropists. Being very new to that industry, I’d never before heard the “time, talent, treasure” phrase. But, it has stuck with me, especially as I get deeper into my coverage of women and sustainability or corporate social responsibility. Volunteering – or giving of time and talent – is an early phase in a woman’s exploration process toward a more integrated, long-term connection with a cause (for herself and/or for her business).

My recent two-part series for Sustainable Business Forum “More Women, Higher Quality CSR?” offers some background. The relational traits that women tend to bring to the table help them see the social equity issues that abound in our world. Volunteering can be their first step at relating, and seeing how their business can help even more.

Here is an excerpt from the series:

“Taken literally, the answer to the question posed by this article’s title is: yes. New research from Catalyst and Harvard Business School (HBS) shows the strong connection between having more women on boards and in executive management and “greater corporate social responsibility.” While these findings focus on philanthropy or corporate giving as the key indicator of corporate social responsibility, this information should be considered just the beginning of the ways corporations will benefit from having more women, and in all ranks.

In this two-part article, I’ll first discuss what was learned through the Catalyst/HBS research and the questions that could use further study. In the second part (to publish next month), I’ll look more closely at what women bring to the table in terms of CSR development, and how your business can put this knowledge to its best use.”

Read part 1 and part 2 of the “More Women, Higher Quality CSR?” series on sustainablebusinessforum.com.

About Andrea Learned:
The co-author of “Don’t Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy–and How To Reach Your Share of this Crucial Market” (2004), Andrea is a marketing to women expert/author, sustainable business journalist and communications strategist. Andrea discusses the link between her women’s market focus and sustainability in the March, 2011 issue of The Solutions Journal: “Gender and the Sustainable Brain“  The Atlantic recently profiled her sustainability career path in this 2011 piece.