The Right Mindset For Companies to Succeed in Social Impact Initiatives

The mindset that made Rock Content impact 20,000 people with education programs and achieves a female team composition of 52.8%.

Updated: August 29, 2022
Corporate social responsibility

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Let me tell you a little about Rock Content’s social impact story, from our purpose to actions, results and lessons learned. 

We currently hear the following question, “Why are you doing social impact?”, and we could say that we do what we do for two main reasons: because it’s the right thing to do, and this opens important conversations in many places.

Of course, we needed some time to know that we were actually following the right path. As with any company, we aren’t born ready, but independently we know that we want to be better to our stakeholders — including customers and investors — but not only them, and not above others.

The first step was recognizing that we can and must use our knowledge, experience and tools to support the people in our community. Rock Content was founded in 2013, following an educational path to help the market grow. That’s why we have Rock University, which has certified more than 500,000 people in Digital Marketing courses.

We decided to evolve in this approach. Since 2019, we have structured our impact initiatives under, our social arm, to achieve the results and journeys we follow now.

We made it clear that, as a company, our mission is to share our knowledge, products and services to promote social change. Furthermore, looking inward, we understood that change also needed to come from the inside out.

The result of all of our efforts speaks for itself. In 2021, Rock Content impacted 20,000 people by donating Rock University scholarships and our employees’ volunteer time. Today, 52.8% of Rock Content’s team is composed of women, and 49% of leadership positions are held by women. The question is: what did we do to achieve that? Let’s go deeper into it.

Sharing our mission with everybody

The entire process of becoming a structured, committed company that desires a better world was only possible because we made sure Rock Content’s mission made sense for our entire workforce. This workforce is more than 400 people strong, distributed across 20 countries. Our Rockers!

For a long time, our stated mission was to “enable growth opportunities.” That made sense for the kind of company we wanted to be and has guided us to grow into the global company we are today, with a great presence in the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. More than the business side of this phrase, thinking about our Rockers and community, we could use this statement as an incentive to give opportunities to underrepresented groups. 

Now, we have a new mission — one that better represents our willingness to create growth opportunities with amazing content and speaks to a broader mission: “Making Marketing better while having a positive impact in the world.” With that, we certified that this approach can be multiplied in our community.

So, if I can share a tip about the path we are tracking: wherever your company goes, don’t forget that your mission needs to make sense to all stakeholders. If you want growth, this growth needs to be shared. Your mission is the core of your company, so people will be reminded of it and will ask for actions aligned with it — with purpose.

2021 Social impact report

Today, social impact is a shared commitment from all Rock Content stakeholders. We are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals in four commitments: Quality Education, Decent Growth and Job Opportunities, Gender Equality, and the Reduction of Inequalities. 

As members of the Pledge 1% movement, we donate time and products. More recently, in 2021, we signed an agreement to donate 1% of our shares to education and employability initiatives. 

In 2021, 19,322 students were impacted by Rock University course donations, and 13,462 certifications were achieved. Furthermore, 73% of the scholarship holders indicated in a feedback form that there was a change in their conditions of employment, education, or some other area of their life after taking the courses.

It’s the journey of João Medeiros (18 years), a participant of the Rock ‘n’ Grow and Rock Camp programs, to bring education to young people with fewer conditions to enter the job market:

“I became a professional communicator because of the Rock Content programs. With the scholarships and programs, I realized I have a great affinity with the communication sector. Today, I have an internship in Social Media, and I can apply much of what I learned in the courses I had access to through Rock ‘n’ Grow. This improved my quality of life a lot. I wish that everyone I know could also do it.”

In 2021, to achieve these results with education initiatives, Rock Content focused on two important things: how we can collaborate to develop skills and how we can get closer to the people who need this development.

First, we keep our Rock ‘n’ Grow program, with donations of scholarships at Rock University. This is a way to support underrepresented people who have a monthly family income of less than USD $48,000/year. The courses help most of our beneficiaries to develop their technical skills in Marketing, social media, sales, and customer success.

Analyzing the employment market, we also decided to create a new program — that was the brainchild of a former Rock Content employee — and focus on soft skills for young people starting their professional careers. Rockcamp was born! A program that have weekly mentoring sessions for almost three months with Rock Content’s professionals to be more prepared for their career.

In this program, we don’t focus on scalability. Rather, we strive to be closer to these young people and enable growth in their soft skills and experience about how to behave at the beginning of their journey. In the pilot edition, in June of 2021, we had the participation of 15 students — from that, 33% got a job during or after the program — two of them work as young apprentices here at Rock Content.

To make these results possible, we needed to join forces with 15 partner organizations. This amounted to 1,698 volunteer hours from our employees.

For Helena Chang, our Product Director and participant in our Volunteer Week 2021, volunteering means “caring, passing on to others, and helping to create the same opportunities you had or would like to have had.”

Indeed, volunteering is a great strategy to engage, reinforce your culture, and develop abilities such as communication and leadership skills inside your team.

Achievements of diversity, equity and inclusion 

Rock Content also holds several internal and external events connected to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

We create internal policies and honor our Code of Conduct regarding discrimination. We run training sessions and campaigns focused on our employees’ well-being, health, and empowerment. 

All this effort is to make our entire team feel like Raissa Costa, our Employer Branding Analyst. For the first time in her 13-year career, she finally feels that she is working in an organization that actually turned its speech into action:

“Seeing things happen made me hope again for a better world. I am a woman, mother, black, visually impaired, and from a poor community. Being understood and being able to build development opportunities is something new in my professional life. And I finally feel that I am in a place that provides me with the psychological security to deal with the barriers that have slowed down my development for so long.”

Those were some of the examples that give us a 52.8% women employee composition, and 49% of leadership positions occupied by the same gender.

We still have a long road ahead. But we truly believe we are on the right path. We’ll continue to work toward having a culture of education and policies to fight against any kind of discrimination and reduce all gaps based on gender, race, disabilities, and affective-sexual orientation, among others. 

Why do we do that? Because it’s the right thing to do. And this opens important conversations in many places.

This article is also in the new issue of Rock Content Magazine, released this August. In this issue we bring incredible content about diversity, inclusion and accessibility, an extremely important topic for brands and society today. You can download the magazine here, it’s completely free! Good reading!


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