Hot on the heels of the August issue of Marketing magazine, which focused on corporate responsibility (have your say on the magazine article here), a recent poll conducted by the Heat Group has shown that ethical consumerism is on the rise, and CSR has become a key distinguishing factor in a crowded marketplace.

Australian female consumers and employees are demanding transparency and ethical business practices, with over 90 percent saying that a company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a must and that it affects their purchasing and employment decisions.

The recent poll of 645 women was conducted by the Heat Group, one of Australia’s leading marketers to women. A huge 70 percent of respondents said awareness of a companys activities in the area of CSR influences their purchasing decisions.

When it comes to recruiting, companies looking to grab this years top graduates need to shape up- 75 percent of 18-24 yr old women look at CSR as a priority when choosing a future employer. And this figure doesn’t diminish with age- 69 percent of women overall said knowledge of a company’s ethical business values is a major factor in employment decisions.

The primary concern for women in the area of CSR is the environment, with 37 percent ranking it as the most important activity. Gender equality remains very much on the agenda- 28 percent of women said equal opportunity and support for women was of the utmost significance to them and charity beginning in the workplace, not at home, was also a priority for 10 percent of respondents.

Gillian Franklin, CEO of The Heat Group says, Whilst CSR has been lauded for some time, our message to other companies is to make CSR a priority now if you want to attract female consumers or employees.