The SustainabilityX® Magazine Global 50 Women In Sustainability Awards 2022: #RedefiningPower - Sheila Remes, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, The Boeing Company, United States
"Women bring a unique perspective to the challenges society faces and having their voice in leadership is vital to providing a full suite of ideas and solutions to issues that affect everyone. It has been shown that when you support women, you build a strong community and when you have women in leadership, they will help create solutions for 100% of society not just 50%." - Sheila Remes, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, The Boeing Company
Sheila Remes is Vice President of Environmental Sustainability at The Boeing Company. In this role, she leads a team focused on continuously improving Boeing’s products, services and operations to achieve sustainability goals. She previously served as vice president of Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where she led cross-functional efforts to define strategic direction and address complex, enterprise-wide business decisions.
With 30 years of industry experience, Remes also brings a strong understanding of commercial aviation from manufacturing and airline perspectives. Her past positions at Boeing included services strategy, sales strategy, and a variety of regional marketing and sales positions for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Her roles focused on identifying new opportunities, developing relationships with industry partners and influencers, and supporting customers worldwide. She joined Boeing as an engineer on the 777 program. Before Boeing, she held engineering and commercial roles at two airlines.
Outside of Boeing, Remes serves on the board of directors for the World Affairs Council of Seattle and the International Aviation Women’s Association. She also serves on the University of Washington Innovation Roundtable. Remes received her Bachelors in Engineering from Arizona State University, and her Master’s in Business Administration from Seattle University.
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 bring a unique perspective to the challenges society faces and having their voice in leadership is vital to providing a full suite of ideas and solutions to issues that affect everyone. It has been shown that when you support women, you build a strong community and when you have women in leadership, they will help create solutions for 100% of society not just 50%.
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?
It has been shown that to make progress in sustainability issues, women have both the desire and leadership qualities to drive the collaboration and champion the social and environmental change required to make an impact. With circularity in particular, it is a significant change in thinking and approach that truly involves all of the collaboration and systems thinking skills you can bring to the table as it might not be the best net present value (NPV) solution, but it will likely be better over a lifecycle of the materials AND it will involve changes for all functions of a company from finance and engineering to marketing and community partnerships that will help make a transformation toward a circular solution.
Q: What can be done to improve women’s participation in corporate and leadership positions? How do we achieve this?
First it is about providing the opportunities to women even if they aren’t 100% “ready” – most people are never ready for the position, but most women won’t take on the challenge without being over qualified or at least 100% certain they understand every aspect of the job. In our leadership roles we need to find the opportunities, challenge AND support women in order to develop a female leadership pipeline. In addition, men and women need to advocate for women to be put in the leadership positions – there needs to be voices in the room to support women otherwise we will perpetuate the unconscious bias that has existed for generations; we need to get comfortable getting uncomfortable.
Q: What does this award mean to you and what significance does it hold to you personally and/or professionally, and your company?
It is truly an honor to be recognized for something that you believe is simply ‘doing the right thing’ – and that is how I see the area of sustainability, doing the right thing to help ensure there is a world and society for future generations. I also appreciate that sustainability causes society, industries, companies and countries to work together as the challenge is bigger than any one of these entities can tackle alone. Boeing has been addressing this challenge for many years, but recently it has elevated to a strategic imperative and without the company embracing the challenge, the individuals who are part of the change cannot be seen, and so it is because of Boeing’s commitment that this recognition is even possible.
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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