Posted in: news

21st February 2017

Introducing B Team Leader Sharan Burrow

What inspires you?

We have an economy which is three times richer globally in the last thirty years, and yet working people have been marginalized. People are frightened about their future. They want to know there is security and opportunity for themselves and their children.

Yet in every workplace, in every community you can see the signs of courage. People who make a stand to stop injustice against others, often at great personal risk, with none of the protections that come with a public profile or a fancy job title.

Their courage constantly inspires us all to do more.

Which B Team cause are you motivated by most, and how is your organization helping to lead on the issue?

The B Team shows what business leaders can do when they put people first and Workplace Equality embodies this spirit. Often workplaces are fearful settings for women who face discrimination or sexual harassment or for men and women whose sexual orientation is not accepted by others or for those that face dismissal if they raise collective voice for safe, secure work or living wages.

When human beings can't be wholly present in the workplace or are denied fundamental human and labour rights our world is poorer for it. The business leaders who seek to change or prevent such practice, including through supply chains, deserve respect.

What convinced you to take on this challenge? Why do you believe that it cannot be achieved without business engagement and leadership?

Where a CEO demonstrates respect for workers, for rights and drives a workplace culture that has zero tolerance for discrimination or exploitation that's worth supporting and where CEO's commit to a net zero carbon enterprise by 2050 this is a responsibility that we must all share.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned on this journey?

Never give up.

What is the first thing you read every morning?

The Guardian, because it is one of the few newspapers that strives to protect independent and investigative journalism. As a Guardian supporter I make a contribution, technology doesn’t have to erode jobs and wages.

What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur seeking to start a new company today?

Profit derived from exploiting others will not reward you with pride in yourself as a human being.

If there is one big change you could make in the world today, what would it be?

Universal social protection, where all people can rely on income support, care for children and the elderly and education. We have the wealth and the power to choose to share prosperity and create social cohesion.

If you were given an extra day next week, how would you spend it?

Catching up with good intentions.

What one thing would you change to help more companies go further, faster, towards sustainable business?

The dignity of decent work and a sustainable future for millions of supply chain workers and their families are effectively in the hands of just 50 multinational companies.

To mandate due diligence, where companies assess the risk of exploitation of workers or environmental damage throughout their supply chains and apply due process to ensure remedy, would have a far reaching impact.

This interview is part of a new series to help you get to know the B Team leaders, what they are working on and what they are passionate about. You can read Richard Branson’s interview here, Yolanda Kakabadse's interview here, and expect a new one each month.