WomenCorporateDirectors Names Starbucks, Shiseido, Elkay, and Ana Paula Pessoa as 2020 Visionary Award Honorees

In its ninth year recognizing exceptional corporate commitment to diversity, inclusion, and women’s leadership in the C-suite and board, WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD) has announced its 2020 Visionary Award honorees. The four Award recipients include two top global brands, Starbucks and Shiseido; U.S.-based global manufacturer Elkay; and Ana Paula Pessoa, chairman of artificial intelligence company Kunumi AI in Brazil and board member of Newscorp, Credit Suisse, Suzano Pulp and Paper, and Vinci Group.

Get Connected!

On September 9 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Time), join us for the virtual red carpet arrivals and regional watch parties! This is an ideal way to network with your peers and interact in a unique way. 

From 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., we will recognize the 2020 Visionary Award recipients for their leadership in diversity.

Use the hashtag #WCDVisionary2020 to share your participation in this Global event!

Madeleine K. Albright
Visionary Awards Keynote Speaker
United States
64th Secretary of State of the United States and Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
Carla Harris
Awards Emcee
United States
Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley; Director, Walmart Corp.

“Our Visionary Award honorees represent, globally, the kind of inclusive thinking, innovation, and agility we need to move our companies and our countries forward during this pivotal time in history,” said Susan C. Keating, CEO of WCD.
“As in past years, they were selected based on proven industry leadership, and on their continuing commitment to ESG – environmental, social and governance – in both the boardroom and the C-suite.” – Barbara Bowles, WCD Visionary Awards Committee Co-chair
 “Recent events have further increased awareness of the need for inclusion and leadership. This year’s Visionary Award recipients have continued to demonstrate that leadership during the unsettling events of this year.” – Deb Kelly, WCD Visionary Awards Committee Co-chair
“WCD’s 2020 Visionary Awards Celebration is a pivotal event that brings together women board directors, C-Suite executives and corporate sponsors to recognize companies and individuals who are committed to women’s leadership and impact in the boardroom”. - Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn, WCD Visionary Awards Celebration Chair

“The power of staying true to your brand in trying times pays dividends far beyond reputation. I’m immensely proud of how Starbucks has lived up to our values these past few months while managing through COVID-19 and advocating for racial justice,” said Roz Brewer, chief operating officer and member of the board of directors at Starbucks. “No matter what’s ahead, we’ll continue to show up for our partners (employees), customers and communities in meaningful and innovative ways that serve to uplift all.”
Award for Innovation in Shared Value: With more than 30,000 stores in 80 markets, Starbucks’ board is 40% women, and women comprise 35% of its global 55-person management team.

Award for Leadership and Governance of a Public Company: Founded in Japan in 1872, Shiseido is one of the oldest cosmetic brands in the world. Shiseido stands out as a diversity champion in the region, with 46% female representation among its directors.
President and CEO Masahiko Uotani, "I am very honored to be selected for this award. In pursuit of our mission BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD, we at Shiseido respect and appreciate individual differences and diversity in one another across gender, age, religion and race, desiring to achieve better, more enriched lives and society with the power of beauty, and striving to be a global winner with our heritage.
During COVID-19 pandemic, people are facing difficulties unlike any before. Even in these extremely challenging circumstances, we believe that we can help revitalize society through beauty; that beauty is a source of strength to change the world. Shiseido members across the globe are united in our efforts to surmount the challenge together, for swift recovery and growth, and to deliver even further innovation."

“We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of our long-standing commitment to ESG,” Ric Phillips, President & CEO stated, in response to being named a 2020 honoree. “Elkay is deeply dedicated to environmental and social responsibility and to giving back to our community. Empowering our people is central to our culture and fostering diversity of thought across the company has been key to our success for over 100 years. Today, more than ever, holding fast to strong values and embracing equitable social practices – which begin at the top and in the boardroom – are essential to thriving in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.”
Award for Leadership and Governance of a Private Company: A private Illinois-based manufacturer of plumbing fixtures and commercial interior systems, Elkay is celebrating its 100th year in business in 2020. Of its 12-member board of directors, five are women, with women chairing two of the four board committees.

Award for Strategic Leadership: Based in Brazil, Ana Paula Pessoa serves on the boards of Credit Suisse, Newscorp, Suzano Pulp and Paper, and Vinci Group. She is Chair of Kunumi AI, a disruptive Brazilian research and process reframing and restructuring company using the lens of artificial intelligence; 60% of the company’s leadership team is women. Pessoa was the first woman to be CFO of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – for Rio 2016, the first Games held in South America.
“I am honored to be recognized with WCD’s award for Strategic Leadership,” said Ana Paula. “Life post-COVID 19 will require all of us to ask new questions so we can collectively come up with new outcomes. This crisis places a new light on the implications of the data revolution, the impacts of human consumption, the sustainability of our planet, and the definition of social inclusion. The most successful companies of tomorrow will lead this reframing, will address these issues, and will thrive in a world of new possibilities. The boardroom should reflect these societal changes. And we, as individuals, must personally rethink our own choices and responsibilities.”

Carla Harris
Awards Emcee
(United States)
Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley; Director, Walmart Corp.

2020 WCD Visionary Awards Selection Committee

The award winners were determined by an independent committee comprised of WCD members.

Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Barbara Bowles, President, Landers Bowles Family Foundation; Retired Presiding Director, WEC Energy Group; Retired CEO and Chair, The Kenwood Group, Inc.; WCD member, Chicago
  • Deborah Elise Kelly, Partner, Genesis, Inc.; Director, Perdue Farms; WCD Member, Colorado

Committee Members:

Agenia Clark, Michelle Lynn Collins, Noel Harwerth, Christie Hefner, Ashley Duchossois Joyce, Izumi Kobayashi, Anastassia Lauterbach, Lucy Pamboukdjian, Theo Schwabacher, Susan S. Stautberg, Joan E. Steel, and Mary Beth Vitale