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Isabel barros distinguished by WBCSD With the excellence in leadership award


The Head of Sonae companies’ Sustainability Advisory Board was the only Portuguese acknowledged by the 2019 WBCSD Leading Women Awards. Isabel Barros was distinguished in the Excellence category, due to her Sustainability-driven leadership.  

The Leading Women Awards ceremony, which occurs today in Lisbon, is a WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) initiative which aims to acknowledge the women leaders who contribute most to the Sustainable Development Goals, among the organisation’s 200 member companies. In 2019, Isabel Barros was one the ten awarded leaders in the three categories, namely in the Excellence category, which acknowledges the work developed towards more sustainable companies.
Isabel Barros, Sonae MC Executive Board Member and Head of Sonae companies’ Sustainability Advisory Board, was distinguished due to her continuous effort in putting people at the centre of Sonae’s sustainable development. The jury outlined the true tangible commitment of her leadership to Education, of which Centro Qualifica Sonae MC is an example, as well as the establishment of volunteering goals to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

Isabel Barros, Head of Sonae companies’ Sustainability Advisory Board, states: "Being recognized with this award makes me very proud, as it recognizes Sonae’s endeavours in developing a more sustainable and inclusive company and society. Sonae’s people are at the heart of our long-term strategy and promoting equal opportunities for all is in in our leaders’ agenda. Going further, helping our employees remain professionally relevant to support their career prospects are necessary conditions for development to be truly sustainable and inclusive. There are many challenges ahead, but it is my firm belief that, among others, education will play a fundamental role in bridging them. This is the inspiration that drives my passion.”

The 2019 edition of the Leading Women Awards had a committee selected among companies associated with WBCSD, responsible for the election of the ten winning leaders in three categories: "NextGen” – which acknowledges next generation’s leaders; "Excellence” – for outstanding contributions to Sustainability; and "Breakthrough” – for initiatives that focus on gender equality.

WBCSD first presented the Leading Women Awards in 2017, with the aim of contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, namely the "SDG 5”, which seek to promote gender equality and empower all women until 2030.

This is the complete list of the 2019 WBCSD Leading Women Awards recipients per category:

  • EXCELLENCE: Recognizing women leaders for their sustained and outstanding contribution to advancing sustainability in their company.
    • Isabel Barros, Executive Board Member, Sonae
    • Alka Talwar, Chief CSR and Sustainability, Tata 
    • Claude Nahon, Directrice Environnement Développement Durable, EDFHelen Mets, President Resins & Functional Materials, DSM
    • Norma Angelica Castro Reyes, Director Ejecutivo de Inclusion Financeria, Santander
  • NEXTGEN: Recognizing the next generation of women leaders who are advancing sustainability in their company.
    • Cécile Eterstein, Associate Director – Customer Brand Leader, Procter & Gamble  
    • Ghazal Nemati, Supplier & Agriculture Development Manager, Nestlé
    • Narawadee Modenuch, Research and Sustainability Analyst, Olam (Thailand)
  • BREAKTHROUGH: Recognizing unique and impactful company initiatives that advance gender balance in the workplace.
    • Nestlé, for Empowering Women Along The Value Chain
    • Procter & Gamble, for #WeSeeEqual   

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