Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwoman 2019
What have been your top achievements in sustainability so far?
I consider the following as my top achievements from a professional perspective : Integrating sustainability into the organization’s everyday business by incorporating sustainability strategies, KPIs into the organization’s overall strategies & KPIs.
Coaching & empowering a Team of high performing sustainability experts in the organization who drive strategies & act as change agents.
Introducing in house child care for white collar workers in the organization & promoting child care in the wider organization ( an activity to drive Gender equality strategy)
Introducing flexible work arrangements into the office environment & facilitating & promoting flexible work in the organization. ( an activity to drive Gender equality strategy)
Introducing mental & emotional wellbeing to MAS Active in 2009 thereby internalising a culture of emotional wellbeing through counselling & other activities.
All of these have been achieved with support from the leadership & others in the organization.
As an individual I volunteer my time at the Alumni association of my Alma mater as Joint Secretary. ( 2017 June – 2020 June) I Believe I have helped create a culture of deep collaboration between the Alumni Association & the school administration to make the partnership more efficient. I have personally supported through coaching, mentoring & as a role model to empower many working women in the organization to choose to continue to work despite their many challenges. I was made aware of the impact I have made as a role model upon receiving the award when I received many congratulatory messages from women who have been inspired by me.
What challenges have you faced along the way and how have you overcome them?
As a mother of 2 young children it has been extremely challenging to work full time in a demanding job that requires frequent traveling. The support system available with the support of the husband, parents, In Laws & paid help has enabled me to continue my work. The workload and many demands of managing the work has been made easier by investing time to coach and develop the Team who is able to take on much of the operational work. Convincing everyone around to do the right thing – Whenever decisions have to be made, ensuring that the right decision is taken from a sustainability angle has been a challenge. I feel walking the talk & credibility that I have built has supported me in this aspect.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities you face today as a sustainability leader?
The urgency for tough action since time is running out! the need to work on tight deadlines & difficult KPIs such as Science based targets. While work in the sustainability front is made much harder with tough requirements to deal with the visible negative impact of climate change gives many opportunities we can capitalise on to further the sustainability agenda.
What further action on sustainability do you have planned for the future?
From an organizational perspective our sustainability strategy has been decided & there is a Long Range Plan that is in place where we focus on Sustainability targets upto 2025. Most of them are extremely ambitious but we have strategies in place to achieve the targets.
I have listened to many women who have been forced to leave employment due to their personal issues & have been miserable & been made dependent on their husbands. Therefore I have a personal ambition to start a social enterprise to provide income generation for women who have been forced to leave mainstream employment due to demands as a wife/ mother. This is something I would like to focus on in a few years.
Can you give any advice to aspiring sustainability superwomen out there?
What has worked for me :
It was important to first build my credibility as a professional & a leader in sustainability. This has to be done by having expert knowledge in the subject matter, showing dedication & commitment to work & walking the talk. It would serve others too to do the same.