The SustainabilityX® Magazine Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards 2022: #RedefiningPower - Tory Flynn, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hillenbrand, United States
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"These crises [of COVID, climate and conflict] impact women disproportionately and put women at a higher risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, displacement, and others. Women should be included at the table as decisions are made in these critical areas and as we work to address these topics, we must do so holistically, which requires us to look beyond making a decision on behalf of a single party – but really looking at what that decision point means for others." - Tory Flynn, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hillenbrand
Tory Flynn was named Hillenbrand’s first Chief Sustainability Officer in March 2021. Flynn was most recently the VP of Corporate Communications at Athene, where she helped steer corporate responsibility. She first joined Hillenbrand in 2015, where she led the implementation of the company’s global corporate responsibility strategy and established the ESG steering committee and strategy, which culminated in the signing of the United Nations Global Compact in 2019.
She serves on the board of Indiana University’s Center for Rural Engagement and the Sustainability Board of Directors for the Plastics Association, and is on the National Advisory Council for Drake University’s Jay N. Darling Institute. She has been nationally recognized for her work with sexual assault victims and was awarded the Outstanding Service Award on behalf of crime Victims in 2017. Prior to joining Hillenbrand, she was the spokesperson and head of communications for the Indiana House of Representatives and served in a variety of government affairs roles in Washington, D.C. Tory received her BA from the University of Nebraska majoring in Political Science and Russian, and her master’s in management from Ball State University in Indiana.
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?
These crises impact women disproportionately and put women at a higher risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, displacement, and others. Women should be included at the table as decisions are made in these critical areas and as we work to address these topics, we must do so holistically, which requires us to look beyond making a decision on behalf of a single party – but really looking at what that decision point means for others.
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?
One of the most important responsibilities we carry is the role we play in shaping the next generation of women leaders. Sustainability is looking at the world's most pressing risks and opportunities and engaging future generations in the decisions. Eventually they will need to build upon our work, and we can’t forget that sustainability mandates long-term thinking, not short-sighted tradeoffs.
Q: What can be done to improve women’s participation in corporate and leadership positions? How do we achieve this?
Let’s look at our fastest-growing sectors, like STEM, and the lack of women represented. This isn’t an outcome of not having enough women pick an engineering major in college, but rather a 10-year-old girl not envisioning herself in that career or deciding at an early age that too many boys are in that accelerated math class. Normalizing STEM early on is a goal of ours at Hillenbrand, and through our partnerships with organizations like Girls Inc. and Kids Discovery Factory, we help show young women that career paths like these are possible for them.
Q: What does this award mean to you and what significance does it hold to you personally and/or professionally, and your company?
When I was told about this award, I immediately told three key people in my life: my 11-year-old daughter, my mom, and my boss, Kim Ryan, who is the first female CEO of Hillenbrand. Each of them has encouraged and inspired me in different ways. Hillenbrand’s Purpose is to “Shape What Matters for Tomorrow” and every day I believe I am doing that in my function and creating a better world to hand to my daughter one day.
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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