A new survey from Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) agencies found that 84% of American employees are satisfied with their jobs at companies where leaders speak up about critical events and issues.
The study, titled “Pulse on America: Public and Employee Opinions on Business and Societal Issues,” was conducted by Weber Shandwick, KRC Research, Powell Tate and United Minds.
The agencies surveyed Americans on corporate social engagement, divided attitudes around the term “woke” and recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action and LGBTQ+ issues.
The 13th installment of the companies joint national survey was conducted between July 7-10, sampling 1,004 adults and 501 employees drawn from a national online panel. The survey is demographically representative of the U.S. adult population, according to the report.
The research found that most consumers expect companies to take public positions on critical social issues, including 82% supporting human rights stances, 73% for climate change, 72% for racism and 70% for gun violence.
In addressing these issues, 31% of respondents said their company being described as “woke” made them feel proud, while 27% said they were fearful their company would be the target of aggression if perceived as “woke.”
The survey also found that few employees are confident that the federal government will ensure safe and secure use of AI, but 63% of employees say they are confident their own employer will ensure safe and secure use of AI.
In regards to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to repeal affirmative action, 52% see the decision as a step toward ending racial bias in education.
Heading into the 2024 election, 65% of employees surveyed said companies have a responsibility to speak up even if the issue is sensitive or controversial, up 7% from December 2022.
Fifty-five percent of consumers said they had taken action to oppose or support a company based on their positions or actions towards these issues, with 44% boycotting a company to express protest and 36% having “buycotted,” demonstrating support by intentionally buying a company’s products or services.
Global communications agency Weber Shandwick, global insights-driven communications and marketing research consultancy KRC Research, DC-based public affairs unit Powell Tate and global management consultancy United Minds all sit within TWSC.
The collective reported a 5% revenue increase globally and in the U.S. to $915 million and $546 million, respectively, in 2022, according to PRWeek’s 2023 Agency Business Report.
This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.