Women are at the heart of making business – and the world – sustainable

Bringing a different perspective is essential in achieving the sustainable development goals

Jake Lyell/Alamy Stock Photo

Over 25 years ago I began my career as a black female working in technology in Silicon Valley and, ever since, my professional path has continually been shaped and enhanced by my being different. Women comprise only 26% of computing professionals - black women 3% (pdf).

I learned very early on that being outside the norm can be a positive differentiator and bring a unique perspective. I was able to collaborate openly and effectively, and my particular mix of competencies balanced well with those of others. As my role expanded into sustainability, these became the qualities I would use to shape the way our business generated value – through its ability to impact the world positively. I quickly understood that corporate responsibility and sustainability support long-term value, yet also challenge us to demonstrate and articulate how this is played out against short-term business objectives.

I also learned that I am in no way alone. The Better Leadership, Better World: Women Leading for the Global Goals(pdf) report launched by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission earlier this week highlights the unique strengths of female professionals and how they can help business harness whatresearch argues is the greatest economic opportunity of our time, the 17 UNsustainable development goals (SDGs or global goals). 

Read the full article in The Guardian.