CEOs expected to shape social, political issues, survey says

CEOs are under pressure now more than ever to take political stances before the government does, either withdrawing business from bad actors or giving business to ethical companies, according to the new May 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer report. 

The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on geopolitical business conducted a survey on 14,000 respondents from across 14 countries between April and May 2022 to take a pulse on how businesses feel they should respond to socio-political issues. It revealed that businesses are taking on more responsibility to respond to global challenges.

Almost 60 percent of respondents said that geopolitics is a responsibility of business, with now more than ever being a time that businesses are expected to be ethical entities in society. The CEO is also expected to be the face of the political messaging for the company, with two-thirds of respondents saying CEOs should proactively remove their business from countries that commit human rights abuses rather than waiting on government sanctions. 

CEOs are also expected to inform and shape policy debates on a host of issues, including automation's impact on jobs (72 percent), wage inequality (72 percent) and climate change (71 percent).

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