Did you ever notice how financial institutions start their path towards ESG and Impact Integration through female leadership. I meet so many women who’s job is to get ESG and Impact Investing (Sustainability) anchored within a bank, insurance company, family office, pension fund, or asset managers. Often those women are understaffed, over stretched, insufficiently funded, always a small office hidden somewhere, etc. However, they all seem to rise up to the task. They are the sherpas who are given a load and as they are able to schlep things up the hill, more load is added. No extra mule, just more baggage for the heavy journey.
I thought that there is a cultural bias. It is only Americans, Europeans, or Asians from certain countries who give mission impossible projects to their female colleagues. WRONG! Nearly every single woman that I spoke to about their work all complained that they are not given the resources to do the job. As they persevere in spite of the load, more is added. I told them, management sees you can carry the load so they increase the load. “Do more with the same or less.” “You can manage. You have four kids. You are superwoman” “Oh and by the way, in spite of all your efforts we still are not convinced about ESG and Impact.” I spoke to women at international private banks in USA, Europe, major family offices (single and multi family), insurance companies, commercial and retail banks. The same story repeats itself.
The “sherpas” are all frustrated, but determined to make sustainable investing a reality, within their organization. I told them by being the uber sherpa, you only get more challenges, work and baggage. You don’t get more sherpas. It is a vicious circle. The worse part is that historically, when the women finally breakthrough or breakdown, depending upon how you see it, a male takes over and cuts the ribbon. My advice is do less. Stop with the super woman feats of strength. Make it clear that the rubber band is stretched to its limits. The momentum of the competitors and self -interest realisation will get you more sherpas, ultimately.
TBLI Hero of the Month.
The TBLI hero of the month goes to all women sherpas who are creating a values based economy by anchoring sustainability within the financial system, in spite of all the challenges. Karianne, Eleonore, Julie, Antje, Bettina, Rhea, Soulange, Audrey, Thien, and hundreds more. I embrace you all.
Please replace man for woman if more appropriate.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt THE (WO)MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
TBLI EUROPE 2015 in Zurich was a great inspiration to us all. Thank you to all of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, and staff. You made the event extremely fulfilling. Presentations and Photos will be placed on our website shortly.
I want to thank Enclude and Laurie Spengler for supporting TBLI Foundation to help further our educational outreach by becoming a TBLI FRIEND. Thank you.
Take a look at this Unep Report Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development
Very good Planet Money podcasts on refugees. Listen to it. When the Boats Arrive.