Growing up and living beside the Kikambala village, on the outskirts of
Mombasa, Kenya for seventeen years has had a profound impact on my outlook in life. In this village, around 23,000 people live below the poverty line. As I have witnessed this from a young age, I feel that we, as future leaders, have a responsibility to make this world a better place. I recently came across an article during my Social Context of Business class at McGill University, written by the SHRM. “The Crossroads of Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility,” expands on the idea that gender inclusive leadership delivers benefits that are sustainable to both companies, and to society.
Due to the fact that we have come to an era in which multinational
corporations and transnational companies are indirectly governing the globe, the impacts of the decisions they make are more often than not, widespread. Even though our world is advancing and globalizing more rapidly than it ever has and is becoming a borderless arena, there are still billions of people who live in poverty and whose basic needs are not being met. They are being left behind because they are simply not able to maintain a decent standard of living.
It is due to this that I am a firm believer in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and the positive impact that can very well be made if every corporation makes a commitment to making a difference in society. Moreover, I believe that women need to take leadership and be the flagships of CSR. As research has shown, companies with several female board directors and those that have more female leaders are associated with higher levels of CSR. Through this, women will be leaders in their respective organizations, but moreover, will be making a positive difference in the world. We need to realize that doing business is not all about the numbers, and that the bottom line MUST include the social implications and impacts that the business has on society.
For women, incorporating their career with something that contributes to the common good of humanity and doing something they care about on a more deeper level is the epitome of what I think true leadership is, and is something that I believe, can transform the perceptions of women in the corporate world.
Furthermore, if we look at Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In Philosophy,” is states that, “if women want to see a change in their workplace, they must look within.” By introspecting, it is not hard to find that what truly matters is doing something you are passionate about, and for a lot of women, it is making a difference in society or simply, helping and caring for those around them. Through CSR, this can be done, and women CAN make it to the top of the corporate world through this.
We need to rebuild our notions of what the world needs, and right now, more than anything, it needs equality, sustainability and poverty eradication. Women are the catalysts for this, through CSR.