Leading sustainably

Elena Valderrábano: "Sustainability is a leader's best travelling companion because it helps to build trust with all stakeholders".

Elena Valderrábano
Communication Team

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Elena Valderrábano, Director of Global Sustainability (ESG) at Telefónica, participates in Marta García-Valenzuela’s second book, Sustainable Leaders, and also took part in its presentation.

For Valderrábano, one of the seventeen women who have collaborated in the publication, “sustainability is the long term: working and being a leader thinking about those who will come tomorrow“, stressing the importance of leading under the premise of “not doing anything that you cannot explain to your family” and insisting on the responsibility of looking after natural resources and human capital for future generations.

With regard to the role of women, Valderrábano stressed that “we have to start believing that we are leaders”, given that “women have a great responsibility towards the women of the future”.

We are still in a leadership model that is not yet feminine“, continued the global director of corporate ethics and sustainability of the operator, who recommended “that we learn and open the way for those women who have more doubts, who find it more difficult”.

As for the contribution of sustainable leadership in the telecoms sector, Valderrábano points out in the publication that “without connectivity, without digitalisation, there is no progress today”, given that this is a sector that is “part of the solution to many of humanity’s challenges”.

As far as the relationship between sustainability and leadership is concerned, he concludes that they are mutually reinforcing as “sustainability is the leader’s best travelling companion because it helps to build trust with all stakeholders”.

Sustainable leaders

For her part, García-Valenzuela explained that with the format she has used, she has tried to give a voice to leading women with different profiles because “sustainability is also about giving collective answers to complex problems“.

Specifically, seventeen interviews with private company managers, politicians and thinkers, philosophers and social entrepreneurs who talk about their purposes, challenges, values, influence, leadership, learning and legacy, but also about their commitment to change things from a perspective of transformation and inclusion.

A book that seeks not only to inform and educate, but also to transform views and consciences, since knowledge alone is not enough to create meaningful change. A publication that also seeks to inspire a new generation of leaders who prioritise the well-being of people and the planet, contributing to the discourse on sustainable leadership by inspiring readers to become agents of change in both their communities and their organisations.


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