Canadian Manufacturing

Canadians hold companies and CEOs to higher standard during COVID-19: survey

69% of Canadians want companies to address discrimination and racism

July 22, 2020  by CM Staff

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TORONTO — FleishmanHillard Highroad (FHR), a PR firm, in conjunction with FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence practice released the results of a new study, COVID-19 Mindset: The Collision of Issues on July 22.

The report analyzes the inflection points taking place around the world as consumers’ thoughts and approaches to their health and finances shift.

Consumer expectations for how their governments, communities, and the companies they deal with regularly interact with change are also examined.

The report found that Canadians, more so than respondents in other countries surveyed, generally expect the companies they interact with to make value-led decisions on important issues like racism, the environment and wage gaps.

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“Our COVID-19 Mindset: The Collision of Issues study suggests that Canadians expect more from the companies and institutions they deal with on a daily basis and want them to take stances on important social and political issues,” said Angela Carmichael, president of FleishmanHillard HighRoad, in a prepared statement. “Consumers are treating each purchase like a pledge of support, and companies are being scrutinized by Canadians like never before.”

With recent data from seven major countries, the study shows:

On average, Canadians expect more from companies and institutions compared with citizens of other countries around the globe.

  • 69% of Canadians believe that companies should take a stand on equality and racism, as opposed to 59% of respondents in other countries.
  • 55% of Canadians want companies to take a serious stand on data privacy and security, 5 points more than the global average of 50%.
  • 45% of Canadians think companies should take a stand on income and wage gaps, while only 39% of global respondents feel the same way.
  • 45% of Canadians want companies to take a stand on gender discrimination, as opposed to 35% of global respondents.
  • 34% of Canadians want companies to take a stand on LGBTQ discrimination and equality, 10 points higher than the global response of 24%.

When it comes to business leaders taking action on issues that impact customers, employees and communities, Canadians hold CEOs to a higher standard than respondents from other countries.

  • 60% of Canadians expect CEOs to take action on health and safety measures to protect their employees and customers, as opposed to
  • 51% of global respondents.
  • 52% of Canadians expect CEOs in their words and actions to show empathy and compassion for their communities, customers and employees, as opposed to 41% of global respondents.
  • 46% of Canadians expect CEOs to take a stand on issues related to racial inequality, as opposed to 32% of global respondents.
  • 38% of Canadians expects CEOs to take a stand on issues related to violence, as opposed to the global average of 29%.

Even though Canadians expect more from companies and CEOs, they have stronger confidence in public health officials and government compared with the global average.

  • 58% of Canadians believe public health officials and scientists are committed to doing the right thing, as opposed to 49% of global respondents.
  • 66% of Canadians believe that hospitals are committed to doing the right thing, as opposed to 61% of global respondents.
  • Canadians are more likely to say governments are doing the right thing compared with the global average. For the federal government, 43% of Canadians say they are doing the right thing, as opposed to 40% of global respondents. Similarly, 41% of Canadians approve of provincial governments and 36% approve of local governments, while the global average is 36% for both.


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