With over five percent, the year of 2017 is projected to have the highest percentage of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies than any year in history.1 To honor this upswing in female leadership, as well as to celebrate Women’s History Month, we’ve decided to pay homage to five women in business who represent the Five Pillars of Responsible Business at the California State University, Monterey Bay College of Business. From ethics to profit, these five pillars are what the college considers to be at the heart of 21st century responsible business practices.
PILLAR ONE: People—Sheryl Sandberg
As a former executive of Google and the current chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is known throughout the world for her people-first business approach that made tremendous gains for some of the largest and most innovative companies in the market. She is the author of the acclaimed book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” which explores ways of achieving equal opportunity for women in the workplace. She has donated millions to charity in support of women in the workplace and women’s empowerment groups.2
PILLAR TWO: Ethics—Mulyani Indrawati
The most senior-level woman in World Bank’s storied history, Sri Mulyani Indrawati was the company’s COO from 2010 to 2016, when she then returned to her previous position as Indonesia’s minister of finance.
During her tenure at World Bank, she worked with member states to develop and implement strategies that focused on the World Bank’s mission to end poverty while proliferating shared prosperity. She headed the Bank’s International Development Association’s “Fund for the Poorest,” which is among the largest providers of assistance to the world’s 77 poorest countries.
In addition, she’s been a strong voice and advocate for women leadership and gender equality in the workplace, chairing the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, which brings together leaders from around the world to address important gender issues in global business.3
PILLAR THREE: Equity—Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
As the founder of Biocon, Asia’s largest insulin producer and an innovative biopharmaceutical company, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has contributed a wealth of knowledge and invention to the bioscience industry, positively affecting the lives of millions around the globe. She has established a 1,400-bed cancer center in Bangalore and, through the Biocon Foundation, has carried out an abundance of vital telemedicine initiatives and preventative screenings.4 Her continued efforts provide affordable, innovative and quality therapeutics to those in need, making her a beacon of equity within the healthcare community.
PILLAR FOUR: Planet—Sarah Kauss
CEO and founder of S’well, a company creating chemical-free, reusable water bottles, Sarah Kauss developed her product with the mission to rid landfills and natural bodies of water of single-use plastic bottles. A Harvard Business School alum, Sarah took the problem head-on by creating an eco-friendly and stylish water bottle business that contributes a percentage of its annual proceeds to charitable organizations that work toward the goal of providing safe access to clean water around the world.
PILLAR FIVE: Profit—Oprah Winfrey
Famous for a multitude of ventures, Oprah Winfrey is one of the most famous, respected, influential and industrious entrepreneurs in the world. After establishing both a television network and a magazine, she’s used her massive success to help those less fortunate, becoming known far and wide for her philanthropic contributions to society. She is a 10 percent stakeholder in Weight Watchers and plays an active role in their operations. Through her lifetime of contributions and hard work, she has achieved a net worth of over 2.9 billion dollars.
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