Business leaders launch workplace mental health alliance
A group of global organisations and business leaders have come together to form a first-of-its-kind coalition committed to advancing mental health awareness and best practices in the workplace.
Recognising the importance and priority of mental health awareness and action in light of the pandemic, whose social and economic effects are having a growing impact on employee mental health, leaders from some of the world’s biggest businesses have joined forces to drive change in business and society by tackling workplace mental health.
The Global Businesss Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health is made up of founding members including HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn, Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen, Unilever CEO
Alan Jope, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton and and BHP CEO Mike Henry.
With a vision of a world where all workplace leaders recognise and commit to taking tangible and evidence-based action on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, this business-led initiative has been designed to both raise awareness and facilitate the adoption of best practices.
With the world rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic, the founding CEOs urge the business community to “prioritise and invest in the mental health of all employees” and they invite other leaders of businesses, both big and small, from all over the world to “join this global movement to advance the desperately-needed conversation around creating an open, welcoming,a nd supportive workplace environment for all”.
Businesses will need to commit to various actions
To become a member, business leaders must sign a pledge and commit to a number of actions within their business. These include:
- Develop and deliver an action plan to foster good mental health in the respective organisation;
- Promote an open culture around mental health that aims to eliminate stigma;
- Take proactive steps to develop the culture and ways of working towards creating positive mental health and reducing mental ill-health;
- Empower all employees to manage and prioritise their mental health and support one another;
- Inform employees of available mental health tools and support they need;
- Regularly measure the impact of the efforts, being open about our progress, to influence and inspire change in the organisation and beyond.
Mental health a big problem for workplace leaders
Considering that work, including working conditions, is one of the key social determinants of mental health, according to the WHO, businesses have a key role to play in ensuring the mental health safety of their employees, and especially right now.
While the mental health crisis was of concern even before the onset of COVID-19, the social and economic damage inflicted by the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis.
According to The World’s Economic Forum's Head of Shaping the Future of Health Healthcare, Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, more than half of working adults report increases in anxiety and decreases in productivity at work in response to COVID-19 and as such, coordinated action and public-private partnerships are “key to galvising action among employers globally to promote wellbeing of their workforces now and in the future”.
Punit Renjen, Global CEO of Deloitte states: “The pandemic has cast a spotlight on the need to address mental health in the workplace. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues like stress and anxiety to ensure everyone can thrive at work."
People Moves EMEA: Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda
It’s been a busy week for executive transitions across EMEA and especially in the world of consulting, with partner/CEO announcements at Oliver Wyman, KPMG and Kearney, and in the role of head of sustainability, with new CSO appointments at Laing O’Rourke and Syngenta Group.
We round up the biggest executive moves across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Nick Studer announced as CEO of consulting giant Oliver Wyman
Set to take the top job at consulting giant Oliver Wyman next month, Nick Studer has been named CEO and Dual President of the firm’s economic and brand consulting subsidiaries NERA and Lippincott and will be based in London. Having been with Oliver Wyman for more than two decades, becoming partner in 2003, Studer has since served in a variety of international leadership roles, including head of Global Corporate and Institutional banking Practice, before becoming managing partner at the start of 2021.
According to Dan Glaser, CEO of Oliver Wyman parent Marsh McLennan, Studer has not just led many of the firm’s practices, but he “has been a leading voice for change and a major driver of our Inclusion and Diversity agenda”.
Delphine Bourrilly to lead Kearney in France
Seasoned consultant Delphine Bourrilly has been appointed leader of consulting firm Kearney for France, one of the firm’s larger locations in Europe, becoming fifth head of the Paris office. Having been with Kearney for more than a decade, most recently leading the Leadership, Change and Organisation practice across Europe, Bourrilly has an array of client successes under her consulting belt, including overseeing an operating model transformation at a large retailer. Prior to this, she spent five years at UBS. According to Geir Olsen, Head of Europe at Kearney, Bourrilly’s “talent, energy and charisma will be critical in leading Kearney through its next growth phase in France”.
Roland Villinger becomes head of corporate and product strategy, Skoda Auto
A consulting veteran, Roland Villinger has been appointed head of Skoda Auto’s corporate and product strategy, a newly created area for the Czech car manufacturer that combines two departments. Described by Skoda’s CEO Thomas Schafer as “an international experienced leader and proven digital expert”, Villinger most recently oversaw the implementation of Volkswagen Group strategy and was also previously chief strategy officer and chief digital officer at Audi AG. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at consultancy McKinsey including serving as a senior partner and running McKinsey’s operations in the APAC region.
Hanan Alowain promoted to Partner, public sector, KPMG
Becoming the second Saudi female partner in the history of KPMG, Hanan Alowain has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Public Sector function. With 14 years of experience in human capital and social development in the Kingdom, including the last three and a half years at KPMG, Alowain is a Harvard Business School graduate with extensive experience both in the public sector, as director of research and development for the Saudi government’s Ministry of Labour, and the private sector, including as a partner at investment & development group Eradah.
Vicky Bullivant named Laing O’Rourke’s first-ever group head of sustainability
Seasoned ESG leader Vicky Bullivant is joining Laing O’Rourke as its first-ever group head of sustainability from Drax Group where she was head of sustainable business and responsible for developing the firm’s climate ambition, social strategy and community and charity policies. Having led the world’s first company ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, and the UK’s first energy company to commit to improving skills and education for one million people by 2025, Bullivant boasts 25 years of ESG business experience in highly regulated sectors, FTSE 100 companies, government and NGOs.
Bullivant spent eight years at Experian, where she was head of corporate affairs and community, nearly four years as head of corporate responsibility at Eon, five years as group head of sustainability at Rolls-Royce, where she turned around the firm’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as sustainability heads at Tate & Lyle and Drax Group.
Daniel Vennard joins Syngenta Group as new CSO
Former global director at the World Resources Institute Daniel Vennard has been appointed chief sustainability officer for Syngenta Group. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Vennard will be responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s sustainability into its business strategy. Bringing extensive experience in the development of sustainability strategies and in launching global sustainability programmes that deliver growth and impact, Vennard most recently served as global director at the World Resources Institute, Vennard founded the Better Buying Lab bringing together scientists to develop, test and scale innovations that help consumers opt for sustainable plant-based food.
Prior to this he spent 15 years at Mars and Procter & Gamble in sustainability, corporate strategy and marketing and brings “creativity and remarkable expertise in sustainability” that will “help us further advance regenerative farming practices and help mitigate the harmful effects of global warming”, says Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta Group.