According to professor McElhaney, founder of the Centre for Responsible Business at the University of California, companies that empower women are more likely to act sustainably. It has been found that businesses with more women on their board of directors are more likely to manage and improve their energy efficiency, invest in renewable power, measure and reduce their carbon emissions, improve access to healthcare in developing countries and have anticorruption policies. What is more important, women have strong partnerships with local communities.
But why is this? Do men have by nature unsustainable ways of acting in the world? Does testosterone fuel the exploitation of our planet and its people? Are women our best hope for creating a sustainable future?
Elle Carberry, co-founder of China G. Initiative, believes that women may be drawn to sustainability because of its social angle. “From all my 20 years in business, I have met more women working in this area than in others,” she says.
In China, women appear to be playing an increasingly important role in sustainability and for one Chinese woman in particular, it turned her into the wealthiest self-made woman in the world. Zhang Yin is the founder of a recycling company that buys scrap paper from the US, imports it into China, and turns it mainly into cardboard for use in boxes to export Chinese goods.
However, despite this and many other role models, millions of women are still under-represented, but the hope is that more will be empowered to join the sustainability revolution.
I. READING COMPREHENSION1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) One of the reasons why women succeed in the sustainability sector is because they maintain close contacts with the locals.
- TRUE: “From all my 20 years in business, I have met more women working in this area than in others,” she says.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
a) Name three advantages of having female top executives in this sector.
- Key ideas: Women use energy wisely. / They spend money on alternative ways of producing energy. / They cut down on carbon emissions. / They pay attention to healthcare policies. / They encourage ways of avoiding corruption. / They build strong relationships with local people.
- Key ideas: Because she has made a lot of money with her own recycling business, which buys and sells products internationally.
II. USE OF ENGLISH3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) give authority to (paragraph 1): empower
- b) attracted (paragraph 3): drawn
- c) seem (paragraph 3): appear
- d) products (paragraph 3): goods
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) Nick: How often do top executives attend conferences on recycling?
- Sue: Once a year.
- b) Zhang Yin's recycling company invested in buying (buy) new equipment for special services. In 2006, she topped the list of the wealthiest people in China and by 2010 her fortune was greater (great) than that of J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter.
- c) A few years ago, I was invited (invite) to speak to an organisation in Shanghai called “Women in Sustainability Action”, which was set up* in 2000.
- d) Albert studied at a very prestigious university. If he had not obtained (not obtain) good marks, he would not have got (not get) such a good job.