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Responding to a new (and rising) social consciousness

Brian K. Lee ( is a Managing Vice President and Dian Zhang ( is a Senior Research Specialist at Gartner in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Today’s organizations report mounting pressure from both internal and external stakeholders to act in the public interest. Empowered by social media and growing global concerns, employees, customers, and investors have all begun to hold corporate executives accountable for everything from workplace diversity to climate change.

This trend is particularly challenging for compliance. According to the 2019 Gartner Legal and Compliance Agenda Poll, more than 70% of legal and compliance executives cite “compliance, ethics and governance expectations outpacing company responses” as a top risk. However, only 25% feel confident in their ability to effectively manage it.[1]

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