Best for the World: A New Framework for Business
Ellevate Network was recently named a Best For The World honoree by B Lab. This category recognizes companies making a significant impact on the lives of their workers well beyond work hours. Ellevate ranks in the top 10% of all B Corps in recognition of our employee-friendly practices, such as ownership opportunities, job flexibility, and fair-chance hiring policies.
As a Certified B Corporation, Ellevate is part of a community of for-profit companies dedicated to using business as a force for good. B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Part of Ellevate's mission is to change the culture of business by creating more inclusive workplaces. We work with our partners every day to accomplish this at their firms, but most importantly, we start by creating this environment in our own business. We believe in leading with our values and make a conscientious effort to put those into practice every day.
Recently I was very excited when Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America's leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy, released a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. This new statement, signed by 181 top CEOs including Accenture, Apple, and JP Morgan, signifies a shift from businesses driven by shareholder primacy to businesses driven for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.
This is a big statement, and it is an essential step towards changing the landscape of business and the world. Now, it needs to be backed up with clear progress and action. As the Co-Founders of the B Corp movement wrote in a Fast Company response,
Ensuring that our capitalist system is designed to create a shared and durable prosperity for all requires this culture shift. But it also requires corporations, and the investors who own them, to go beyond words and take action to upend the self-defeating doctrine of shareholder primacy. They can do this by making themselves legally accountable to create value for their workers, customers, suppliers, and communities—not just talk about it.
This sentiment was also front and center at the 2019 Ellevate Mobilize Women Summit. During the panel, Tackling the World's Biggest Problems, Esha Chhabra, a writer inspired by social innovation and mission-driven entrepreneurship, Jay Coen Gilbert, the founder of B Lab, Cara Chacon, Patagonia's VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility, and Melissa Ho, Senior Vice President of Freshwater and Food at World Wildlife Fund discussed the power (and responsibility of) businesses to create change. You can watch the full video here but my favorite takeaway was that we need all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders - to work together on creating the world that we seek. Let's get started!
- “If we want to protect the natural world upon which all life depends, if we want to have an economy that serves everyone, we have to actually change the system and not just ask for more heroic individual leadership. You can ask someone to be a heroic leader but in a system that punishes that kind of leadership then that’s an asymmetry of power.” — Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab
- “We’ve heard from CEOs that attracting and retaining really talented labor and keeping the brightest minds, like all of you, they have the be a company that employees feel good about and that the employee retention and attracting the best talent is also driving CEOs to really have much more transformational approaches.” — Melissa Ho, World Wildlife Fund
- “Your voice and your influence in what you buy as a consumer but also where you choose to work makes a difference.” — Melissa Ho, World Wildlife Fund
- “We’re all consumers, the most powerful thing you can do is buy less, buy higher quality goods, and then do your homework when you are making purchases on clothing and big home purchases to see how those companies are managing their sustainability.” — Cara Chacon, Patagonia
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Kristy Wallace is the CEO of Ellevate Network, and is responsible for executing Ellevate Network’s mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from. She directs the Network’s staff, is responsible for business growth and strategy, and works closely with Ellevate's Chapter Leaders, Business Partners, and Champions to further Ellevate's impact. Kristy is host of the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations with Women Changing... Continue Reading
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