The JOURNEY begins
Don't bank on sustainability Edition 48
Working on an innovation that will redefine our future? Imagine being able to talk to Mary Barra, Ginni Rometty, Marillyn Hewson, or Indra Nooyi about it. Who better to guide you than Mellody Hobson, Aileen Lee or Susan Lyne if you’re looking to redefine investing in the space, or are looking for your next big round of funding? Or, how about having Dina Powell McCormick, Shriti Vadera or Jenny Johnson help you get unstuck on your JOURNEY to the C-Suite!
I’m thrilled to be able to help this 501(c) charity make conversations like the ones above a reality. I’ve teamed up with JOURNEY’s founders — Pattie Sellers (founder of Fortune Most Powerful Women (MPW) and Nina Easton (my fellow co-chair of Fortune MPW International & Fortune Global Forum) to support Executive Director Beverly Kirk and Strategic Advisors Nicole Didda and Julie Schlosser as they redefine leadership relationships.
The JOURNEY kicks off with 25 Champions and 25 Fellows who will be hand-picked every year. (If you’re curious about who our Champions are, here is the full list). So, what is this big JOURNEY that the champions want to take with you, the next potential JOURNEY Fellow? Don’t be fooled, this is nothing like mentoring. And it definitely stretches way beyond a year.
It’s all about building real lifelong bonds that can carry both — the world’s most impactful leaders and those in-waiting (our Fellows), through their JOURNEY to their goals. It’s about harnessing the collective power of our champions. Of connecting with that collective, taking it well beyond the usual 1:1 mentoring relationships. It’s about talking through challenges and wins together, in a private and safe environment. Or getting advice and inputs when you’re stuck. But most critically it is about giving our carefully chosen Fellows access to the highest-level connections they wouldn’t have otherwise. After the year’s done, a Fellow isn’t — they remain lifelong JOURNEY members, continuing their relationship with our champions and helping build the next class of Fellows. THIS is JOURNEY’s goal — to build lifelong networks of support. Click on the link for how it works.
Launch week’s now behind us and we are on the hunt for our inaugural batch of Fellows. Our Champions are raring to go - so if you know an amazing woman, nominate her! For our class of 2022-23 though, we are unfortunately only accepting Fellows based in the U.S. (thanks to Covid restrictions). If you think YOU fit the bill, don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back! Nominate yourself! We can’t wait to meet you, so fill out the nomination form.
What are we looking for? A woman who is changing the world and solving for its biggest problems! An innovator on the cusp of reaching a top leadership position but lacking the necessary access, connections, and networks to optimize her potential. She is purpose driven and a passionate leader. She is a rising star executive, the founder of an industry-changing start-up, or a leader in a transformative private-sector organisation. She is someone who wants to walk beside, learn from and build on what our Champions’ JOURNEY has taught them.
We’ve just got started. Covid won’t last forever and in this globalised world, that means our path will take us across the world, hopefully as soon as next year. So, don’t be shy even if you’re not based in the U.S. but JOURNEY sounds like your cup of tea. Shoot me a message! I’d love to talk with you about becoming a Champion, or a Fellow in the years ahead! Or if you think you, or someone you know wants to open their philanthropic hearts and support our cause - Let’s talk!
Now, onto the women making headlines!
The business of business
Not banking on sustainability
Credit Suisse keeps digging itself into a hole it really doesn’t have to. You had all the spy drama of the previous CEO, and the subsequent reshuffling of roles under a new management and a new strategy announced. But then they killed the bank’s fledgling sustainability plans. That sees board member and CEO of Sustainability, Research and Investment (SRI) Solutions Lydie Hudson exiting stage right, this quarter. The bank pretty much folded up the SRI business upon her exit announcement. Then came the news of firing the bank’s Chairman, Former Lloyds boss António Horta-Osório for breaking Covid protocol. While others on the board now waffle over whether to stay or go, the bank’s sent yet another signal that sustainability is going to take a back seat in its strategy going forward.
Chief Sustainability Officer Marisa Drew, who worked with Lydie is expectedly out, having led CS’s sustainability drive since 2020 after driving key initiatives for almost twenty years. Who’s in? Emma Crystal. Credit Suisse’s new CSO is a wealth management executive who has been overseeing sustainable client solutions in a large part of Credit Suisse’s European business since 2020.
All a twitter
It’s been a bloodbath in the corporate world with all the exits we’ve seen this month. Twitter’s no different. Rinki Sethi’s out as Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer, along with its the social media giant’s head of security, a highly respected ex-hacker.
The shakeup comes after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as chief executive in November, handing the reins to his deputy Parag Agrawal. Parag’s been quite the busy bee since then, reorganising the leadership structure of Twitter. Many in the industry have been reportedly surprised at Rinki being pushed out, as she was considered a security powerhouse and brought on board after the massive Twitter hack of 2020.
You might not get massive snowbanks, but I hear Davos-Klosters is pretty in the spring too. The World Economic Forum has cancelled two annual Davos meetings in a row thanks to Covid but looks like everyone at WEF is hoping rescheduled dates in May might just work. So, pack less than usual, leave your snowshoes home and book your flight to talk the theme ‘Working Together, Restoring Trust’ between Sunday 22 to Thursday 26 May at Davos-Klosters.
PS: If anyone has a spare invite or needs a really savvy global economics presenter, let me know. I’ve always wondered what Davos looks like without the mountains of snow!
The business of governing
If you live anywhere in Europe, you’ve probably got a shocker of a gas bill all winter. Europe’s Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson met with European energy ministers this weekend and says she is going to do something about it. What you ask? The first step she says will be to diversify from a gas reliance on Russia. To that end she’s lining up talks with gas partners in Washington and Azerbaijan to increase deliveries to the bloc. The second, to complete a green transition.
The supply crunch in Europe causing energy prices to skyrocket comes down to significantly low levels in storage and is widely attributed to a dearth of gas flows from Russia.
Russia may deny choking off supplies, but rising tensions in Ukraine has pushed Germany to signal it may be ready to discuss halting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should Russia attack Ukraine (the U.S is dead set against the project). The pipeline is to transport Russian gas to Germany bypassing Ukraine.
The U.K. revealed overnight the Kremlin is trying to install a pro-Russian to govern Ukraine as part of a plan to invade the country. Considering that two of the four former Ukrainian politicians Russian intelligence officers have been in touch with are former deputy prime ministers — It may be time for us to get familiar with the two most relevant current leaders in Ukraine who’ve been democratically elected.
Yulia Svyrydenko is the 37 year old vice prime minister of the country. That means she is next in line to govern Ukraine should the PM be unable to. She previously worked as Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and took on her current job in November 2021, when the last guy was unceremoniously fired. Yulia is also Ukraine’s minister of economy.
The woman most visible globally right now is also the one responsible for making the West feel they have a vested interest in backing Ukraine. Olga Stefanishyna is the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. Articulate, and passionate about democracy and people’s right to choose, she makes no bones about being ready to fight to ensure Ukrainians are never subjugated.
Young, conservative, & president of EU parliament
She’s 43 years old, a lawyer and a conservative who opposes abortion. She is also now the president of the European parliament, the youngest ever! And the first woman in 20 years to lead it, which she will for the next two and a half years. She is also the first person from Malta, the smallest EU member state, to lead any EU institution.
Roberta Metsola is a former Maltese civil servant who was first elected back in 2013 and is a member of the centre-right European People’s party. She was serving as interim president after the death of EU president David Sassoli last week. Roberta won 458 of 690 of the votes cast, and easily beating three rivals from smaller groups.
Bye Bye Ms. French far right
It looks like by the time the French elections roll around, French far right leader Marine Le Pen is going to be just a fly on the wall. In the latest blow to her ambitions, two very visible supporters — a senior EU lawmaker and a parliamentary assistant to another deputy have quit her National Rally party. They’ve defected to join rival far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, saying they thought Marine has no chance of winning this April's election.
Eric Zemmour is new to politics but is also losing steam in the run up to the elections. President Macron is currently in the lead according to polls. The candidate with the best chance of defeating him (at this stage) is Valérie Pécresse of the Les Républicains party. Who is she? A 57 year old confident politician who’s declared she will become “France’s first female President”. She describes herself as “one-third Thatcher and two-thirds Merkel”, but her team prefers to compare her to a “bulldozer.”
Caught my eye
Good to know
Jacinda Arden’s cancelled her wedding as she introduces strict measures to counter the rising number of Omicron cases in the country. New Zealand’s Prime Minister hadn’t publicly announced a wedding date, but it’s been reported that it was imminent. New Zealand had been heading toward the loosening of measure mid-January, but it’s moved back to the red setting under its COVID-19 protection framework.
New appointment - tea with the Queen
Joe Biden has finally said out loud what’s been doing the rounds on the rumour mill for a while - he intends to appoint the first U.S. woman ambassador to Britain in 45 years.
Jane Hartley was ambassador to France and Monaco during the Obama administration, but the choice has reportedly surprised Washington insiders as she isn’t a close or personal friend of Biden's.
19 years old, Zara Rutherford learnt to fly at 14 and is now the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, the first woman to fly alone around the world in a microlight plane and the first Belgian to circumnavigate the globe solo by air. The Belgian-British teenager has flown into the record books by completing a 52,000km (28,100 nautical mile) journey that took in 31 countries across five continents.
The teenager not only flew alone over vast empty expanses of snow and deserts, she had to also navigate fast-changing Covid restrictions and bureaucracy while setting her records. She cancelled a stop in China at the last minute after rule changes meant a mandatory quarantine. She then had to navigate one of the busiest aviation routes in the world to reach South Korea while avoiding Chinese and North Korean airspace. All in a little microlight!
The abuse is rife
The rumours have been floating for a while amongst the science community and now they’ve burst out into the public domain. It’s not looking good for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI - part of the prestigious US-based Smithsonian Institution), a renowned centre for ecological research based on an island in the Panama Canal.
Accusations of sexual harassment and assault were put into writing last month as 49 scientists co-signed a letter to US President Joe Biden’s administration that called for sweeping changes at the STRI, to address a long history of alleged mistreatment. The letter was addressed to the White House Gender Policy Council (GPC).
The newly inducted boss of STRI Joshua Tewksbury, says in 2022, the Smithsonian is likely to form a task force to investigate issues of harassment and assault.
“It became clear fairly early on in my tenure that this issue was going to define our work for the foreseeable future.” — Joshua Tewksbury, Director STRI
Adele cancels gig
Her fans were either mid-flight, just landed, or boarding planes when Adele made an emotional announcement on social media. She cancelled her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace Colosseum with just 24 hours to go before opening night, citing difficulties caused by Covid. With tickets selling on the black market for as much as $50,000, and no news about rescheduled residency dates — it’s been an ugly reception for the singer on social media.
“I'm so upset and I'm really embarrassed. We've been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and Covid,” — Adele
The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival is going to be amazing! It’s a) in-person, though shorter than usual between February 10-16th and b) it has the most fantastic lineup. Boy the Golden Bears are going to be worth the fight!
There’s Peter von Kant, François Ozon’s gender-flipped masterpiece. Also vying for the 2022 Golden Bear are fantastic movies like Claire Denis’ ‘Both Sides of the Blade’, starring Juliette Binoche; Charlotte Gainsbourg starrer ‘The Passengers of the Night’; German actress turned director Nicolette Krebitz’s ‘AEIOU — A Quick Alphabet of Love’; ‘The Line’ by Swiss director Ursula Meier; and abortion drama Call Jane, the directorial debut of Phyllis Nagy which stars Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara and Sigourney Weaver.
Mazel Tov Priyanka!
All the hullabaloo about Megan Markle bestie, actress Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas being on the verge of divorce was expectedly— the tabloids, Bollywood fans and Instagrammers making much ado about nothing. Turns out the poor poppets were just waiting for their surrogate to deliver their brand spanking new baby! Mazel Tov to the new parents!
The business of defending
Aye Aye Commander
Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell of the U.S. Navy has become the 77th commanding officer of the USS Constitution and the first woman to serve as captain in the ship’s 224-year history.
Jude Terry has become the British Royal Navy's first female admiral. She takes on the role of Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary and is responsible for more than 40,000 regular and reservist sailors, Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary staff and civil servants.
On the Move
Cristina Scocchia has become CEO of Illycaffe. When her appointment was announced it was expected that the Italian premium coffee maker was gearing up for a potential stock market listing. Previously Cristina was CEO of Kiko SpA. She also worked with Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal Italia, where she held the positions of CEO and chairwoman. She’s been on illycaffe’s board of directors since 2019 and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Essilor Luxottica.
In the U.K.
Dr. Manjit Pope is the new boss of the Space Force Association’s global arm in the UK. She will lead the international collaborative. Dr. Pope previously established and led UK Space as CEO.
Caroline Kusser is the new head of international co-productions at the fast-growing European media conglomerate made up of France’s Mediawan and Germany’s Leonine Studios. She will head up all TV co-production activities at Mediawan, (the producers of Call My Agent!), and German group Leonine, (producers of Dark). She will oversee shows across the more than 60 companies controlled by this newly merged entity and run global sales at Leonine. Caroline was previously a distribution executive at Fremantle, involved in negotiating co-production deals with the likes of Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Starz and Nat Geo.
In the U.S.
Patricia (Pat) Fili-Krushel is the newest addition to Reddit’s board, replacing Sam Altman. Pat was the founding Co-Chair and served as CEO of Coqual, a global think tank and advisory service. She also currently serves on the boards of two public companies — Dollar General and Chipotle Mexican Grill and is on the board of several non-profits. Previously she has served as Chair of the NBCUniversal News Group, EVP, Administration at Time Warner Inc., CEO of WebMD, and President of both the ABC Television Network and ABC Daytime.
Inspiration for the week
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” —Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former & first female president of Liberia