14 November 2023
As part of an event celebrating leadership characterised by empathy, transparency, and a commitment to fostering innovation, Rebecca Oldfield, Infineum's Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology, was honoured with the Kindness & Leadership Award. The award ceremony, hosted last night (13 November 2023), recognised Rebecca as one of fifty distinguished UK professionals who exemplify a compassionate and empowering leadership style.
Organised by Kindness and Leadership, 50 Leading Lights, and supported by KPMG, Financial Times, University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, and Asia Square, the UK award program aims to highlight leaders who inspire positive change through kindness.
Rebecca's nomination, submitted by Professor Lalit Johri, former Senior Fellow at the University of Oxford and her former mentor, highlighted her transformative contributions to the specialty chemicals business over her 20+ years of service. Under her leadership, Infineum underwent significant positive changes, shifting from a product-centric to a customer-centric focus and embracing digitalisation to drive better outcomes.
Rebecca's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been evident in her role as the Executive Committee sponsor for DE&I, where she spearheaded initiatives that increased the representation of women in senior positions and created enterprise Affinity Groups.
Known for her empathetic leadership style, Rebecca believes in creating a transparent and trusting environment that allows individuals to express themselves freely. She invests time in developing the skills and capabilities of her team, mentoring employees across diverse cultures to help them achieve their ambitions.
Rebecca's visionary approach is not limited to the workplace; she consistently champions initiatives that create value for all stakeholders, aligning purpose and profit. This includes a global standard on parental leave, redesigning workspaces for inclusivity, and co-authoring the leadership book "Mastering the Power of You," with all royalties donated to Oxfam.
Upon receiving the award, Rebecca said: “Putting kindness at the heart of leadership allows us to unleash the best performance of those around us: people are more creative, more open to collaborating and braver when they feel cared for, respected, and valued by their leader. Leaders create better outcomes for their organisations and are more likely to lead successful teams when kindness is a guiding principle of engagement with others. So, if you’re looking for the best results, motivated teams, and a sense of well-being and fulfilment, start putting kindness into your leadership recipe!”
The Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights campaign aims to redefine the global leadership conversation by highlighting leaders who leverage the power of kindness to bring about positive change in business and society. This initiative encourages individuals, regardless of their background, to embrace the mantra #LeadWithKindness and recognises that kindness is a critical component of transformative leadership.
Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder of Kindness & Leadership: 50 Leading Lights, said: “These phenomenal leaders exemplify the profound impact of kindness. They demonstrate that kindness is a potent force that can foster trust, build confidence, cultivate thriving workplace cultures and transform lives. Kindness is the currency that empowers and it’s absolutely key to leadership in this complex and uncertain world.”Back to top