Giovanna Jagger: A Trailblazer in Business Development and Sustainability

Giovanna Jagger is a prominent leader in the field of business development and sustainability, with a career spanning over 15 years. Her journey began as an advisor to FTSE 500 companies, where she focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and reporting. With a passion for driving business growth while incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solutions, Giovanna later became the Global Business Development Director of her own consultancy.

Throughout her career, Giovanna has worked closely with organizations worldwide, mapping strategic objectives to leading frameworks such as GRI, SASB, CDP, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Her expertise and dedication to sustainability earned her recognition as one of the 10 Most Influential Women in Tech in 2020.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Giovanna is a volunteer Strategic Senior Advisor for ConnectAID, a humanitarian organization dedicated to supporting the UN SDGs. She also prioritizes her health and well-being by enjoying hikes with her husband and exploring new cuisines with her son. Her life motto is to “live purposefully and deliver impact.”

When asked about her career journey, Giovanna emphasizes her commitment to making a positive impact as an individual within the sustainability industry. By immersing herself in activities dedicated to progress, she has taken on influential leadership roles that align with her values and goals. Giovanna actively seeks out opportunities to work with organizations that are part of the sustainability movement, covering various sectors such as technology, reporting, and strategy.

For Giovanna, leadership is defined by consistency and the willingness to put others’ interests before one’s own. She values leaders who empower and develop more leaders, and who genuinely care about people and the planet. As a leader, Giovanna strives to teach, coach, and support others in their growth and development.

As a woman in a leadership position, Giovanna acknowledges that she has encountered challenges in environments where women are undervalued due to their gender. However, she chooses not to dwell on negative views and instead focuses on demonstrating her value through her work. Her advice to other women facing similar challenges is to concentrate on adding value, staying positive, being kind, and allowing obstacles to eventually move.

When it comes to balancing work and personal life, Giovanna made a conscious decision to pursue roles that align with her values and future plans. Joining the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a global authority for driving market transformation toward healthy buildings and communities, was a natural fit for Giovanna. She believes in the organization’s mission and finds it easy to dedicate her time to their efforts. By demonstrating value and building trust with her colleagues, she has established a supportive work environment that allows for personal priorities outside of work.

In fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, Giovanna actively advocates for the inclusion of different perspectives and voices. If she finds herself in a room where everyone is the same, she calls it out and encourages inclusivity. Similarly, if she notices that certain individuals are dominating a conversation, she suggests including others who may be better equipped to contribute. At IWBI, she collaborates with fellow business leaders and incorporates key learnings from the development and implementation of the WELL Equity Rating, a roadmap for organizations to prioritize justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

To stay up-to-date with industry trends and innovations, Giovanna is a member of several organizations, including CoreNet, GRI, and Women in Sustainability. These memberships help her maintain industry knowledge and stay informed about the latest trends. She actively seeks knowledge to support her organization, clients, partners, and herself.

When it comes to handling conflict within her team, Giovanna prefers open discussion over arguments. She shares her concerns with others to help audit her own thinking, recognizing that her fast-paced work style can sometimes be a blind spot. By focusing on constructive dialogue rather than engaging in heated arguments, she aims to find resolutions that benefit everyone involved.

Giovanna takes pride in championing equity, diversity, and strategy in all her projects. One of her notable achievements at IWBI is supporting the establishment of partnerships with WELL Enterprise Providers (WELL EPs). These Fortune 500 companies, management consulting firms, and real estate management companies play a critical role in accelerating a global culture of health. These collaborations highlight Giovanna’s commitment to empowering organizations to prioritize health and well-being at a portfolio or enterprise scale.

For women aspiring to leadership positions in business, Giovanna offers encouraging advice. She believes that there is a place for every woman who wants it. By actively pursuing their goals, preparing themselves, and seeking mentors and sponsors, women can position themselves for success. She emphasizes the importance of investing in personal growth, being open to learning new things, and never rejecting a task, as each experience brings valuable lessons.

In her role as a leader, Giovanna approaches risk-taking with a balanced mindset. She takes the time to analyze each situation and seeks guidance from individuals who can help her audit her thinking. Understanding that impact can only be measured through partnership, she considers the potential outcomes and consequences before making decisions.

Building and maintaining strong relationships with clients and customers is a priority for Giovanna. She believes in truly knowing the people she works with and recognizes their importance in driving her work forward. She never takes them for granted and fosters respect for them as clients and partners. While friendships may develop along the way, her primary focus remains on serving their needs.

Giovanna’s company, IWBI, actively supports gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace. The launch of the WELL Equity Rating demonstrates their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The rating provides evidence-based strategies for organizations to take action toward their diversity goals, improve company culture, and enhance employee health. One of the key populations they focus on is primary caregivers, who are often women. As an organization, IWBI is dedicated to practicing what they preach and is pursuing the WELL Equity Rating themselves.

In measuring the success of IWBI, Giovanna and her team look at the knowledge and awareness of WELL as a program that can help organizations advance their people-first strategies. They also consider the potential impact on individuals’ lives through the implementation of WELL. Maintaining high standards and partnering with like-minded organizations that demonstrate a commitment to excellence is crucial to their success.

Looking ahead, Giovanna acknowledges the challenges and opportunities facing women leaders in business. She recently learned about the Reykjavik Index, which sheds light on how women perceive other women in leadership and government positions. Recognizing the need for self-belief and support among women, Giovanna emphasizes the importance of personal growth and being the best version of oneself. By focusing on continuous improvement and bringing their unique strengths to the world, women can overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

In conclusion, Giovanna Jagger is an inspiring leader who has made significant contributions to the fields of business development and sustainability. Her career journey, commitment to values, and dedication to driving positive impact exemplify her leadership qualities. Giovanna’s emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with her focus on fostering strong relationships, sets her apart as a leader who values people and strives for positive change. As a woman who has achieved success in her field, Giovanna offers valuable advice and serves as a role model for aspiring women leaders in business.