Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, released CEO Activism: The Tech Effect, a follow-up to The Purposeful CEO from earlier this year. The 2018 research is the third installment of our CEO activism series, following The Dawn of CEO Activism (2016) and High Noon in the C-Suite (2017). The Tech Effect surveyed technology professionals such as software/application developers and software engineers in seven global markets: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, the UK and the U.S. The research finds high levels of positivity among technology professionals in all markets toward CEOs who speak out on hotly debated current issues.
In the UK, 84 per cent of tech professionals have a favourable opinion of CEO activists and 77 per cent think CEOs have a responsibility to speak up about issues that are important to society. The top three issues UK tech professionals would like to hear CEOs speak out about are privacy and data protection, jobs/skills training and sexual harassment (65 per cent, 64 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively). But UK tech professionals do not want lip-service with 77 per cent believing CEOs should follow-up talk with action.
Across the globe, female technology professionals hold more positive views of CEO activism compared to their male peers. These women are more likely to agree that CEOs need to defend company values, have a more favourable opinion overall of CEO activism and are more likely to feel CEOs have a responsibility to speak out.