Exclusive Video: Women in sustainability advocate diversity

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Michelle Davies (EY), Angela Hultberg (Kearney), Katie Mills (Zeigo Power, and Joanna Bonnett (PageGroup), discuss the women in sustainability debate

The early morning session on day two of Sustainability LIVE London was a very passionate one. Scott Birch, CCO of BizClik, welcomed an in-depth conversation in this panel on Women in Sustainability, featuring female leaders from their respective companies. 

The session pivoted across multiple facets of both business and lifestyle as the ladies covered all aspects, including generating opportunities to empower women in the workforce, and understanding the role reversal or evolution that is taking place among high-performing heterosexual couples. 

Sustainability LIVE London | Michelle Davies, Global Head of Sustainability at EY Law

Uncovering the challenges of climbing the corporate ladder, advocating for further female representation, all while managing home life; relationships, family, and mental health, the panel provides great insight for more conversations in the future. Not just appealing to the women in the room, the panel also touched upon the changes that men are likely to witness as leaders, boyfriends, husbands, and friends. 

In this process, honesty was the best policy, as proclaimed by Michelle Davies, Global Head of Sustainability at EY Law

“I’m just going to go for it. I’m going to be honest,” she says. “Not all men are like this and not all women are like it. But, I do think that women tend to be [more nurturing, very protective, and very pragmatic in the workplace]. Because of what we do in other parts of our lives, we have to be. I think sustainability as an area is one which really plays well to women's strengths.” 

Sustainability LIVE London | Katie Mills, Head of Zeigo Power at Schneider Electric

And this was the general consensus across the panel. Katie Mills, Head of Zeigo Power at Schneider Electric, advocates this point and brings her perspective as the leader of the company’s sustainability business arm.

“I think it's [about] emotional intelligence and there has been multiple studies done actually around the difference between men and women when it comes to emotional intelligence,” says Mills. She believes that, in an industry where compassion is the key to influence, women are naturally suited to leadership in sustainability, suggesting also that the research is there to back this up.

“I do feel that the sustainability sector lends itself to far greater emotional intelligence because of some of the larger challenges that we're tackling; the emotional impact that sustainability has on many people.” 

Sustainability LIVE London | Angela Hultberg, Global Sustainability Director at Kearney

Broader recognition of women in business 

These points led Angela Hultberg, Global Sustainability Director at the global management consulting firm Kearney, to a broader outlook of how women impact multiple business sectors. 

“It's not only sustainability as an industry, I wouldn't even say sustainability is an industry, it's part of every industry,” she says. 

“I am a tax lawyer by training. That was a very short career granted, but I discovered sustainability while I was in transport. And transport is a very male-dominated industry. The big difference back then, at least between women and men, was that women were at least curious.” 

“I cannot count the number of men I've encountered throughout my career who said ‘we've been doing deliveries like this for 25 years and it's worked just fine’.” 

Sustainability LIVE London | Joanna Bonnett, Sustainability Committee Member at PageGroup

However, while this session may sound like a bold argument between genders and their inputs in business, the conversation turns to the wider visual representation of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), which is that a variety of individuals are listening and engaging with the debate more and more. 

“I'm actually relatively new to sustainability. And I have to say, looking at the audience and looking at everyone I've engaged with within the sustainability ecosystem, it's actually been very refreshing to see a very gender-diverse and neurodiverse audience and ecosystem; that there is a lot more gender diversity in this career, perhaps even compared to other careers already and still at play,” says Joanna Bonnett, Sustainability Committee Member at PageGroup

“I would also then move away from gender diversity to neurodiversity, and that's where it doesn't matter necessarily whether you are male or female, but the importance of neurodiversity to solve these complex problems, the evolving problems—we need new ideas.” 


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Other magazines that may be of interest - EV Magazine | Energy Digital


Sign up to the The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards 2024, coming to London on the 11th September 2024. 

Net Zero LIVE will be hosted live from the QEII Centre, London on the 6th and 7th of March, and streamed globally via our virtual event platform Brella. Net Zero LIVE London will feature four LIVE themes, incorporating Sustainability LIVE, EV LIVE, Scope 3 LIVE, and Energy LIVE to deliver a holistic conference and exhibition experience with opportunities to connect with like-minded peers and actively contribute to crafting a sustainable future. Following Net Zero LIVE, viewers can also sign up for Sustainability LIVE Dubai and Singapore. 


BizClik is a global provider of B2B digital media platforms that cover 'Executive Communities' for CEO's, CFO's, CMO's, Sustainability Leaders, Procurement & Supply Chain Leaders, Technology & AI Leaders, Cyber Leaders, FinTech & InsurTech Leaders as well as covering industries such as Manufacturing, Mining, Energy, EV, Construction, Healthcare + Food & Drink.

BizClik, based in London, Dubai & New York offers services such as Content Creation, Advertising & Sponsorship Solutions, Webinars & Events.


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