I founded the independent, global She For Social Impact Awards and launched them in January this year. A lot of people asked me what inspired me to initiate Awards like that – meaning in particular global, across industries and with a focus on women. So I thought I share my journey and vision with you.
Well, I’ve been working in business strategy, innovation and investments the past 13 years – advising executives of internationally operating companies on how to go ahead to be still relevant in the future and how to generate benefits for all stakeholders – not only for their shareholders. Having grown up to values like mindfulness and gender equality certainly shaped my way of looking at things in the world.
I always considered foresight, diversity and innovation to be the foundation for societies and organizations to progress.
However, since I started working, I have regularly experienced the opposite, meaning: Diversity to strengthen solutions and systems rarely exists. People think and operate in silos – in business, perfectly streamlined to management theories that put efficiency, technology and aggressive growth over meaning and sustained futures. And that male perspectives and male senior executives dominate the fields which are defining our digital future as well as the future of climate change. Those fields are technology, business, finance, science and not to forget politics, the regulative body.
So I felt, if those things brought us to where we are today – severe socio-economic, political and environmental tensions worldwide – there is a strong need for more women shaping the fields that are critical to our future.
Because long-term thinking, collaboration, creativity and mindfulness – qualities that are primarily attributed as „feminin“ – are extremely important for leadership, and most specifically NOW in times of digital transformation and global uncertainties.
Moreover, during a personal research project that I did some years ago with regards to economics and climate action, I came to the realization that education and gender equality are the strongest levers to achieve the United Nations global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were set in 2015 by all UN member states as a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
That aha-moment back then felt like a sent gentle nudge. And I felt inspired to help increase gender balance and opportunities for women in future critical fields as well as to accelerate the creation of impact-led, meaningful solutions that address the economic, environmental and social challenges of our century.
After some time evaluating different options, in December last year just before the corona pandemic outbreak, the vision for the She For Social Impact Awards was born:
I envision the Awards as an international platform to shine a light on female role models from all walks of life with visionary solutions that create a sustainable future already now and that address gender equality.
Secondly as a way to grow an international support system for impact-led women which connects them with like-mined individuals and organizations worldwide from different industry ecosystems to accelerate the co-development of a sustainable future.
And thirdly as a way to inspire young, old, women and men alike to harness science and digital innovations to create solutions that foster meaningful, well-distributed and sustained value for people and the planet.
Strangely enough, the occurrence of the corona crisis now and its tangible socio-economic tensions for everyone worldwide highlight the reasoning behind the Awards. I truly hope that this crisis on the one hand will be understood as the result of political and economic misguidance of societies and nature over the past decades. And on the other hand as a chance to change that fast and with compassion for one another. If „going back to normal“ means changing nothing after the crisis, then the next one might hit us sooner than expected. And we all are in this together.
The female role models show us already a new model for the world, in which wealth is well-distributed in societies and in which people and planet are put first.
And I’d love to see everyone opt into such a future. My wish is to grow the Awards as a collective effort, shaping the world towards diversity, truly meaningful innovations and sustainability together.
Independence, diversity as well as human and professional quality are the core considerations for attributing the Awards. As a non-profit initiative the Awards are supported by organizations and individuals that share its vision. If you like to contribute and be part on this journey, you can either apply for an Award Committee role, become Ambassador or general supporter. Send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly describe your request.