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Kelly McGinnis on Employee Activism and Earning Profits Through Principles at Levi’s

Episode Summary

Kelly McGinnis, senior vice president and chief communications officer at Levi Strauss and Company, discusses how employee activism plays an essential role in the company’s response to social issues and the formation of meaningful partnerships with activists and other corporations. This discussion is part of our series reviewing the 2020 Global Communication Report on New Activism, available for free download at

Episode Notes

Corporate activism has long been sewn into the fabric of Levi Strauss and Company, and over the past seven years, senior vice president and chief communications officer Kelly McGinnis has continued to uphold Levi Strauss’ reputation as a pioneer in tackling social issues. Bringing her background in social work to the table, Kelly has continued to seek out new opportunities to foster change in the corporate world through employee activism, activist partnerships and corporate coalitions. 

In this episode, Kelly discusses the power of listening to employee opinions, emphasizing that many of the company’s most memorable actions in response to social issues have come straight from their employees. She offers valuable insights into how the company builds advocacy into every level of its operation to amplify causes that they care about and form corporate coalitions that lobby for policy changes.



Kelly McGinnis (@kellylmcginnis), SVP and CCO of Levi Strauss and Company (@LeviStraussCo).



Fred Cook (@fredcook), Chairman of Golin, a global PR firm. Author of “Improvise - Unorthodox Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO” and Director of the USC Center for Public Relations


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