Beth Howell, Best Selling Author and Speaker
Beth Howell is a human resource, management, and administration professional with experience covering diverse global corporations.
The value chain of a business fosters economic activity and creates jobs. Businesses and societies benefit from decent employment opportunities. A company that adheres to labour standards within its own operations and value chain will face less reputational damage and legal liabilities. Employing nondiscriminatory practices and embracing diversity and inclusion will also increase access to skilled, productive talent.
Our guest for today is a best-selling author, a public speaker and Co-team lead and co-author on SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 8. Let’s listen to her experience, insights and a little about her book in the episode.
About Beth Howell
Beth Howell is the Co-Lead of the SDG 8 Team and the Co-Author at SHERPA Institute. She is the best selling author and a public speaker. During her time in a military spouse, human resources, and equal opportunity organizations, Beth has served in leadership roles with relationships, regeneration, outreach, STEM, with philanthropy as a focus.
What are some of the challenges the world faces with respect to SDG 8?
Beth says that the biggest challenges remain in the supply chain as many companies don’t know where the product is coming from. She says, that digging deeper and going all the way down in the supply chain might reveal that child labour or slavery is going on for the production.
An example of the problems in the supply chain
She cites the example of Cobalt, around 20% of which comes from the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where minors may be working. She further says that this issue can be solved only by responsibly sourcing. “The key is how do we responsibly resource, that’s what we want to get to”
Is modern slavery common throughout the developing world or is it confined to a few countries? Beth says that it’s all around us. “When we talk about modern slavery, we are not talking about just people working in mines or agriculture. When you go to a restaurant, the tea you are drinking could be produced by child labour. The person serving that to you could be a part of human trafficking.” Although we cannot fix the problem overnight, we should all be doing whatever is in our hands to help solve this issue. And the first step we can take is to be aware.
Why do you think the world is slowly ramping up to accept that we need diversity, equity and inclusion?
With the growing awareness of people and the availability of information to every individual, people can now see for themselves whatever is happening across the world. That’s driving companies to hire a diversity officer, but only for the sake of formality, says Beth. There’s not much happening when it comes to making an impact.
What should the government be doing to tackle these kinds of discrimination?
According to Beth, the government can take steps depending on the requirement and situation from training to encouraging people to change their mindset. It’s important to make people understand that “everyone needs to be treated with respect and dignity.”
Beth Howell helps organisations with compliance audits but she says that it’s not enough. “You have to go beyond compliance to make a difference”. Therefore, she also counsels people in organisations and helps them deal with such issues, teaching them about the legal actions available if they are mistreated. To know more about her work and her book, check out the podcast.
Beth Howell is a human resources, management and administration professional with experience covering diverse global corporations. Beth observes through a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) lens. She has experience in multi-national organizations delivering strategic operations, human resources, project management, outreach, and business solutions. Beth has partnered with stakeholders in countries across the Americas, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, and South-Central Asia as a key leader in human capital, compliance, and technology.
She specializes in building relationships down the hall or around the world. In the corporate world, Beth is known for going where requested, when needed and in whatever capacity required, often on short notice, which reflects her adventurous spirit that also takes her skydiving, zip lining and marathon running.
Beth holds Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility-Expert (CISR Expert) certifications. She is a Co-Team Leader and Co-Author of the SDG8 UN Sustainable Development Goals Corporate Guidebook for SHERPA Institute, a think tank. She is a co-author for Complicated Alliances, a book about the military woman or military spouse experience, which achieved Amazon Best Seller in three categories.
Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, USA, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM, USA.
Beth has also held numerous leadership positions in military spouse, human resources, and equal opportunity organizations, serving in roles which usually have relationship building, regeneration, outreach, STEM, supporting women in business, and / or philanthropy as a focus. Beth supports the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Washington, DC (AFOSCDC) as the Special Activities Co-Chair, where she leads a diverse group of multinational volunteers in special programming activities to engage membership. She supports the Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade (GCPIT), the Becoming Everything You Are (BEYA) STEM Conference, and the Women of Color (WOC) Conference through speaking and/or volunteer engagements.