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Are chief sustainability officer jobs women's fast-track to the C-suite?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on BBC or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) role has emerged as a significant leadership position within corporations, with a notable increase in women occupying these roles. From being predominantly male-held, the balance shifted to over 50% female representation by 2021
• This trend reflects broader shifts within sustainability leadership towards female dominance, potentially offering a new pathway for women into the C-suite

🔭 The context: The rise of women in sustainability leadership roles can be attributed to the novelty of the CSO position, which lacks historical male dominance, and the alignment of sustainability goals with women's skills and interests
• Research suggests that women are more engaged with climate action and environmental concerns, making them effective leaders in sustainability initiatives

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: With evidence supporting the idea that companies with more women in leadership roles tend to adopt more environmentally friendly policies and have higher ESG scores, the increase in female CSOs could lead to more effective climate action and sustainability practices within corporations
• This shift not only enhances diversity in corporate leadership but also contributes to broader efforts to combat climate change

⏭️ What's next: Despite the encouraging trend of women ascending in sustainability roles, challenges remain
• The sustainability sector is not immune to broader workplace issues like the 'broken rung' phenomenon, which hinders women's progress to higher leadership positions

💬 One quote:
"Sustainability is now a critical consideration in decision-making from the boardroom on down, and customers demand that we understand these issues as a core part of how we run our businesses and operate in our communities," says Kara Hurst, Chief Sustainability Officer at Amazon.

📈 One stat: By 2021, women held more than half (54%) of CSO positions, a significant increase from 2011 when men held 72% of these roles.

Click for more news covering the latest on ESG

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