10 Leading Women celebrated at WBCSD Council Meeting

Today the 10 recipients of the 2018 Leading Women Awards were announced in Singapore at the annual Council Meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Singapore, 24 October 2018: The Awards showcase the outstanding business leadership of women in WBCSD member companies who are working to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WBCSD initiated the awards in 2017 as a contribution to the goals of SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.

This year, in a ceremony sponsored by Firmenich and hosted by Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine, the following women received awards over the three categories: 

  • ASIA: Recognizing women who are showing great leadership on sustainability challenges and opportunities in Asia.
    • Amita Dholakia Chaudhury, Sustainable Business Director, Unilever
    • Dilith Castleton, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Metaliks Limited
    • Tina Lawton, APAC Regional Director, Syngenta
  • EXCELLENCE: Recognizing women leaders for their sustained and outstanding contribution to advancing sustainability in their company.
    • Chika Furukawa, General Manager of the Sustainability Promotion Office, Corporate Administration Headquarter,Yokogawa Electric Corporation
    • Keryn James, Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
    • Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer IKEA Group (Ingka Holding B.V.)
    • Virginie Helias, VP of Global Sustainability, The Procter and Gamble Company
  • NEXTGEN: Recognizing the next generation of women leaders who are advancing sustainability in their company.
    • Amelie Rouvin, Environment & Circular Economy Manager, Veolia
    • Margaret Henry, Director Sustainable Agriculture, PepsiCo
    • Triana Krisandini, Assistant Director Sustainability, APRIL

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD said: “Unlocking the full potential of women in leadership positions is vital to the success and sustainability of business. We are honored to recognize the 10 Leading Women in this year’s awards, and the results they are bringing to companies in the WBCSD membership.

“The Awards recognize all women in WBCSD member companies. This year we were also delighted to see that some member companies have also begun using the format of the Leading Women Awards for their own internal recognition programs.”

Mr Bakker also emphasized the importance of “walking the talk” on gender equality and diversity. To advance these issues, WBCSD adopted a “Panel Pledge” in early 2017 to help ensure women are adequately represented in panel discussions at conferences, following in the footsteps of other leading organizations who have already enacted the Pledge.

According to the Better Business, Better World report launched by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission in January 2017, achieving gender parity and other human capital gains would unlock between USD$12 and USD$28 trillion by 2030.

Quotes from the Leading Women Award 2018 recipients

Amelie Rouvin, Environment & Circular Economy Manager, Veolia: “Leading sustainability starts with “inner-ecology”, by raising consciousness of our true self, of the impacts of our jobs, of the footprint we want to leave in this world.”

Amita DholakiaChaudhury, Sustainable Business Director, Unilever: “The award is a testament to the opportunities Unilever provides its employees to make a positive contribution to society and drive business as a force for good. I share this recognition with my colleagues, who brilliantly champion the sustainable business agenda across markets. It inspires me to work harder to influence, inspire change and also empower the next generation of leaders to drive profitable business growth through the power of purpose.” 

Chika Furukawa, General Manager of the Sustainability Promotion Office, Corporate Administration Headquarters, Yokogawa Electric Corporation: “I would like to share the delight of receiving this award with my colleagues and the company’s management team who continuously showed strong commitment to Yokogawa’s sustainability aspirations. We are responsible for ensuring the well-being of future generations. For that purpose, more women should participate in decision making and work to incorporate sustainability factors into all aspects of business. Our challenge will continue!”

Dilith Castleton, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Metaliks Limited: ‘"The institution of family lies at the centre of societal relations. Creating a strong foundation at the household are the steps to create a genuinely egalitarian society. It is possible when parents instil the right values to their young ones without adversely shaping their identity. Women inherently possess the potential to change the landscape of their lives and families and in turn, the world. They have nurtured society since time immemorial. It is now time for the world to acknowledge & accept a woman’s role in revolutionary thinking and global change. I firmly believe that this could be complemented by equally sensitive men to share the privileges in a fair and just manner. The time has come to see a change in the way we define the role of women in society. We are here and our time is now."

Keryn James, Chief Executive Officer, ERM: “I am delighted to accept this honor. As the world’s leading sustainability consultancy, advancing sustainability in everything we do is paramount. This award is a testament to the work of the fantastic people we have in this company that I have the privilege of leading.”

Margaret Henry, Director, Sustainable Agriculture, PepsiCo: “The next generation of leading individuals and leading companies must think differently about success. Success needs to be defined as succeeding together across business, civil society, government and community. This award is testament to the importance of shared value progress inside large businesses, between businesses, between sectors, and with communities and farmers. PepsiCo is leading the way in collaboration and it is an honor to help bring those collaborations to life with communities around the world.”

Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer IKEA Group (Ingka Holding B.V.): “I am very humbled to be amongst these leading women and truly appreciate this recognition. I also want to thank WBCSD on behalf of IKEA Group, I see this as recognition of the ongoing work we are doing to stand up for climate change, and gender equality – focusing on driving action. And also on behalf of women, there are still too few of us in leadership positions across industries. So thank you for organising the Leading Women Awards and by doing so, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in order to make right decisions faster towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Tina Lawton, APAC Regional Director, Syngenta: “Syngenta has always been committed to sustainable agriculture, underpinned by our Good Growth Plan. I am honoured that our tireless effort to advance sustainability in agriculture and do good for the industry and community in Asia – from empowering smallholders to helping them stay safe – is being recognized by a reputable global organization. As a female leader, I am also proud that we have made a difference to women in agriculture through training and stewardship, and I must emphasize that the credit belongs to the entire team in Syngenta Asia Pacific.”

Triana Krisandini, Assistant Director Sustainability, APRIL: “The SDGs provide an inclusive approach to sustainable development and pathway forward for business and community leaders who want to connect their contributions to social, economic and environmental advancement. Within that framework, we all have the opportunity to lead through our actions to advance the global sustainability agenda in our own communities and improve the wellbeing of those around us.”

Virginie Helias, VP of Global Sustainability, The Procter and Gamble Company: “It is a great honor to receive this Award which recognizes P&G’s significant progress in the past years to drive positive impacts through our brands, supply chain, employees and partnership. I am delighted to work with many WBCSD member companies to advance our Ambitions 2030 agenda by enabling and inspiring responsible consumption. Our collective work on addressing the issue of Ocean Plastic Waste is one of the many examples of these powerful partnerships.”