The SustainabilityX® Magazine Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards 2022: #RedefiningPower - Laura Hamilton-O'Hara, CEO, Living Future Institute of Australia, Australia
"Women, and in fact the diversity of voices that have previously been ignored or silenced are critical at this moment. What got us here, is not going to get us out." - Laura Hamilton-O'Hara, CEO, Living Future Institute of Australia
Laura has a Master’s Degree in Social Ecology and two decades of industry experience working in environmental sustainability and social justice in Australia and South Africa. A through line for Laura in all her work is sustainability leadership and systems thinking. After several years in strategic roles at Taronga Zoo, Macquarie University and the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Laura is currently the CEO of the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA)*. LFIA harnesses the built environment as a powerful vehicle to create a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.
Q: What is the importance of women's leadership in today's society plagued by the triple crises of COVID, Climate, and Conflict, and their deadly consequences?
Women, and in fact the diversity of voices that have previously been ignored or silenced are critical at this moment. What got us here, is not going to get us out.
Q: What role do you believe women in leadership positions have to play in helping companies and brands transition towards sustainability and circularity, and why is this important?
There is no one role, the point is the diversity that half the world's population brings to the leadership table in solving the current state of affairs. I think it is the multitude of different life experiences, temperaments, attitudes, education, ingenuity, empathy and ability to inspire the next generation of women that will make all the difference in creating a future we ALL actually want to live in.
Q: What can be done to improve women’s participation in corporate and leadership positions? How do we achieve this?
The key changes that need to be made are systemic ones like free/affordable childcare and equitable parental leave. These changes enable women to participate more fully at work, prevents discrimination during hiring and promotion opportunities and benefits a child's development through having both parents able to be engaged with them from an early age. There is no silver bullet to achieving this and it will take voting for parties with aligned policies at the local and national level, collective bargaining, and advocacy.
Q: What does this award mean to you and what significance does it hold to you personally and/or professionally, and your company?
I have worked in sustainability leadership for more than a decade, so it means a great deal to have that work recognized, especially globally. I do also really value that it is alongside another 49 people who are doing great work in their fields, demonstrating that strength and wave of smart, determined women who are working towards change today. This is well beyond one or two exceptional people, instead it’s a movement.
*The Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA), established in 2012, is an Affiliate of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). ILFI is an environmental NGO committed to creating communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. It operates the Living Building Challenge, the built environment’s most ambitious performance standard, as well as many other visionary programs that support the transformation toward a living future. Learn more.
The SustainabilityX® Magazine Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards 2022
The SustainabilityX® Magazine proudly announced the release of The SustainabilityX® Magazine’s inaugural Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards™ 2022 on Oct 4th, 2022, an inaugural annual list celebrating the powerful work of women in sustainability leadership around the world.
The non-profit digital magazine’s Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards™ high-level, invite-only program graciously sponsored by the award-winning Canadian construction and engineering firm Belnor Engineering Inc., recognizes achievements of the world’s powerful, groundbreaking female sustainability leaders who’re bridging the gender gap by breaking barriers, shattering traditional stereotypes, and taking the world of sustainability by storm. This campaign is in line with the magazine’s third pillar of sustainability upon which SustainabilityX® is based: social inclusion, which involves marginalized populations and vulnerable communities such as women, persons with disabilities, unemployed youth, LGBTQ+, the elderly, and BIPOC minorities.
“As both a female and one of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 In Sustainability Leadership myself, I know how important this is,” says Supriya Verma, founder of The SustainabilityX® Magazine. “The number of women in positions of leadership – from business to politics – are relatively few. With society plagued by the triple crises of COVID, climate, conflict, and their deadly consequences, how can the world advance and achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals without having women in decision-making positions at major organizations, political parties, and academic institutions?”
In The SustainabilityX® Magazine’s quest to ‘redefine power’, this is the first international power-list bringing together women around the world involved in sustainability celebrating the power of their work – not their position. This list brings together a diverse group of accomplished women across business, entertainment, academia, law, politics, and beyond ranging from some of the world's leading companies, to independent unsung heroes with one thing in common: using their power with purpose –the power to create change and influence lives to make the world a better place. After all, that's what sustainability is all about. The meaning, or ‘the power’ of one’s work matters, not one’s position in a corporate hierarchy, particularly during this crucial era.
View the full list: The SustainabilityX® Magazine Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards 2022
About The SustainabilityX® Magazine
The SustainabilityX® Magazine is an award-winning, digital, female-founded, and female-led non-profit initiative bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future through dialogue. Founded on May 8, 2016 and inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability Leadership awardee, Supriya Verma, the digital media initiative focuses on approaching the world’s most pressing challenges with a holistic, integrated, systems-based perspective as opposed to the traditional and ineffective siloed approach with a single lens on interdisciplinary topics like climate and energy. This initiative ultimately seeks to explore how to effectively bring the environment and economy together through intellectual, insightful dialogue and thought-provoking discussion amongst individuals across sectors taking an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to untangling the intricate web of sustainability.
The SustainabilityX® Magazine is based upon the four pillars of sustainability: Environmental Stewardship which emphasizes improved environmental health, Economic Prosperity which emphasizes economic growth without the element of capitalism, Social Inclusion which emphasizes EDI for BIPOC and LGBTQ communities and marginalized, vulnerable populations, and Just Governance which emphasizes the equal rule of law via responsible political leadership to create fair systems for all. Identifying the diverse factors involved in sustainability, how they interact and how the disciplines are interconnected will help accelerate local, national, and international sustainability goals – in simpler words, aligning with The SustainabilityX® Magazine’s mission of bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future through dialogue for a sustainable future. Whether you have a background in science, engineering, business, law, politics, media and entertainment, or beyond, your voice matters.
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The SustainabilityX® Magazine is a proud member of the Sustainable Journalism Partnership, serves as a cause-based media partner for various events such as Circular City Week New York, and officially delivers remarks at international conferences such as UNESCO’s annual World Press Freedom Day Conference. SustainabilityX® is a brand of the non-profit social business SPSX Group.
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