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CSR Jobs May See Salary Cut

Students studying for their Master of Business Administration degree may face lower salaries than they expected in corporate social responsibility than when they began the course, reports USNews.com.

Many companies are now dismantling specific CSR departments and adopting a holistic, business-wide approach to CSR instead. As a result of this new approach, in which each department may take account of their own CSR track-record, resources are thinner spread and, as a result, CSR jobs may come with lower salaries, the news site reports.

There is also a lack of clarity about what CSR means in the modern business world, the news site reports. Differing terms such as “social entrepreneurship” and “social enterprise” muddy the waters as to what a CSR professional actually does, according to the article. Furthermore, companies with the worst track record in corporate social responsibility – such some tobacco and oil firms – are often the ones that talk about it the most, the news site reports.

But these problems can be overcome by students asking the right questions in interviews, experts say. Joining a company that has the same values as you is a very important step towards a rewarding career in CSR according to Jo Mackness, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California—Berkeley’s (pictured) Haas School of Business, the web site reports.

The average salaries of carbon and climate change professionals rose 4 percent in 2010, according to a survey out in February 2011. The 2010 Carbon Salary Survey, conducted by recruitment agency Acre and consultancy Acona, said that salary levels in the field were up across all regions of the world and in almost all sectors.

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5 thoughts on “CSR Jobs May See Salary Cut

  1. As to CSR professionals being less valued as a “separate” entity and having CSR be more integrated into more “holistic, business-wide approach,” that seems to be what the aim was all along! The possibility of performing oneself out of a job is a risk of success, except that strong leaders and managers committed to all aspects of CSR – not just carbon and climate change – will always be highly valued. The dichotomy of underperforming companies doing the most promotion merely means that other companies should step up the communication about their CSR initiatives.
    While I don’t want to discourage a counter-balance and good news, I do question the relevance of the 2010 Carbon Salary Survey here, as it tends to limit consideration of CSR to environmental issues (and it’s dated).

  2. Hi Diana, thanks for the comment,

    In regards to the relevance of the Carbon Salary Survey, as we are chiefly an environmental publication, our coverage of CSR matters stems from its strong, though admittedly not universal, connections to green issues. As we are discussing salaries here, I think the survey of carbon professional earnings is an interesting and relevant comparison.

    The 2010 Carbon Salary Survey was released in Feb of 2011, and is the most recent edition. Just going by the date I expect the 2011 edition to be out this Feb.

    Again, thanks for the feedback, always appreciated.

    Leon Walker, reporter

  3. For CSR to be integrated within the fabric of business – is a great movement and the right one!

    In developing countries however, CSR has yet to reach the maturity level of developed countries. Presently, even the concept of CSR and sustainability reporting has yet to percolate to each and every organization who often views it as a ‘cost centre’ department with intangible returns.

    The trends are welcome and can actually inspire many Corporates to make relevant changes.

  4. most of the “initiatives” require so much corporate greenwash happy talk decoding, that by the time someone gets any substance, they’re so full of “natural flavorings” — well, i could puke. do a better job green managers! ask for more money…

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