Women Making a Difference Report 2023

Published on May 2, 2023

By becoming part of our elite set of interviewees, these women act as role models and mentors to others looking to learn and apply ideas that can enrich their own careers and make a positive impact in safety, sustainability and operations. We want to find out what makes women leaders tick and discover what business techniques and skills they are applying, and what business approaches they have found most useful.

Sharing individual stories offers a fresh perspective and acts as a source of inspiration and encouragement to those women looking to improve the lives of colleagues and communities through best business practices.

It’s only by connecting and learning from each other’s challenges and successes, no matter how small, that we will transform businesses from good to great.

Read interview with Adele Clarke, Head of Human Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa at dss+

Top 5 focus points for senior leaders:

#1. Valuing people

People are the lifeblood of any organisation. Empowering and motivating people is key to success and is achieved by establishing a two-way relationship that is based on openness and trust. Listening to people provides more insights and taps into a communal experience, ultimately making the company more robust and resilient in the long run.

#2. Inspiring leadership

The impact of leadership on how individuals behave is critical. A progressive culture and energetic leadership are integral to personal, company, and community success. A strong sense of staying true to your values is key to successful leadership, with an emphasis on understanding that actions speak louder than words.

#3. Bolstering business for the future

In the recent years the need and regulatory calls for sustainability have accelerated so quickly, that in order not to lose track and encourage its consistent adoption, leaders must bring people along with them, and embed sustainability fully in the business ecosystem.

#4. A holistic view of safety

There is no question that safety is of paramount importance and should be at the centre of every decision and action. A good safety culture is driven by good leadership, strong vision and values, whereby the whole company are empowered to look after each other and create a safe workplace environment with passion and care.

#5. Innovative approaches to technology

Technological advancements are increasingly being used to help companies adapt, become more resilient and gain a competitive advantage. But throwing all efforts to the new technological innovation is not always the key. Sometimes the answer lies in adapting existing methods to create new solutions, demonstrating mindfulness toward resource efficiency and discovering new angles within innovation itself.

The panellists

In compiling this report, we conducted in-depth interviews between January and March 2023.

We gained valuable insights and thoughts from our expert panellists, all working in senior leadership roles in safety, operational excellence and sustainability practices, across a range of industries and regions.

Click on each photo to read the interviews.

What’s next for...

No matter how much change is being experienced, safety must always come first, with safety and sustainability at the heart of every decision and action. A business cannot have good performance without a safe and sustainable business model. Innovative developments are rapidly evolving and increasingly playing a crucial role in mitigating risks. It is important for a leader to always be looking to the future and not be afraid to try new ways of working, whilst always balancing this with risk management. It’s about understanding the potential event and what the triggers and controls that could prevent it are embracing what new technologies can bring to the table.

Business continuity and efficiency are key driving forces for Opex, which is underpinned by embracing innovation and ensuring the profitability and longevity of the assets that are crucial to business operations. Ultimately innovation has to make economic sense, and Opex positions sustainability as a key tenet of effective operations that include initiatives like energy efficiency, carbon savings, waste management and new income streams.

No company can work alone for a sustainable future, from raw materials through to the consumers, businesses have to move as quickly as possible from a linear to the circular economy.

It is an exciting time to be re-framing sustainability as a huge opportunity for businesses, and impact driven conversations around innovations are the way forward. It’s time to rethink the economic system and the organisation’s role so that business becomes a more effective and proactive transformative tool both within and outside the organisation. No company can work alone for a sustainable future: from raw materials through to the consumers, businesses have to move as quickly as possible from a linear to the circular economy. One of the main objectives related to sustainability for organisations is to find opportunities to avoid material waste. It is essential that businesses look at the whole ecosystem and see how they can pivot solutions to meet new goals so that their businesses becomes a force for good.