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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Workers increasingly want their companies to think bigger than profits and speak up on social issues — and it's younger employees driving the trend.

The big picture: As the next generation enters the workforce, companies will have to devote even more time and resources to tackling issues like systemic racism, income inequality and climate change.

Driving the news: There isn't a single issue that stands out when young people are asked what they expect their employers to care about, according to a new Axios/Generation Lab poll of college students. The range of causes include:

  • 17% say companies need to pay most attention to racial diversity and inclusion
  • 21% say climate change
  • 22% say better pay for low-wage workers
  • 16% say reskilling or upskilling
  • 20% say better health care and child care benefits.

Overall, 68% say companies should take public stances on social issues and another 16% go as far as to say they wouldn't work for a company that doesn't.

  • "There is no silver bullet for companies," says Cyrus Beschloss, founder of Generation Lab.

The bottom line: Companies will have to broaden their mission statements as the war for talent is increasingly won on how firms respond to — and take action to remedy — societal issues.

Poll methodology: This survey was conducted Aug. 11–13 from a demographically representative sample of 846 students from two– and four–year schools.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Oct 25, 2021 - Technology

Report: Amazon shortchanged workers on leave

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Amazon employees allege that they have been shortchanged pay while on leave, according to a New York Times investigation published Sunday.

Why it matters: Much of the recent spotlight on Amazon — along with Google, Apple and Facebook — has been over competition and privacy, but labor concerns have been growing across the industry as well.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

4 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.