International MBA graduate Anna Murray was a recent winner at the 8th annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 awards in Toronto honouring achievers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
Presented by The Women’s Executive Network, Murray was selected as one of three women in the Future Leaders category, where she was recognized with other exceptional woman under the age of 30 who distinguished themselves early in their careers.
“It is an honour to be recognized for this award among some incredible Canadian women. I firmly believe we can all play a role in positively contributing to the legacy our generation leaves. This award is further motivation to do so,” says Murray.
Having earned her BA at the University of British Columbia, Murray travelled to China to attend the IMBA program offered by Sauder's Robert H. Lee Graduate School. Provided in partnership with the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, this unique program taught by Sauder faculty gives students an international perspective on the challenges of doing business in a global marketplace.
Murray says it offered the groundwork for a successful career focused on the integration of international business and the betterment of society.
At 30 years of age, she has already held key positions with leading global organizations, including HSBC in Shanghai and the United Nations, where she authored a case study in the publication Embedding Human Rights in Business Practices III, which has since been promoted around the world as a best-practice example of integrating human rights into the world of business.
Currently, Murray is using her unique set of skills as a Manager, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement for Projects and Exploration with Xstrata Nickel. In this role, she is responsible for driving key stakeholder engagement-based initiatives that support the business’s strategy in the core areas of stakeholder engagement, community relations and development, resettlement and communications.
Passionate about giving back to the community, Murray has volunteered with organizations locally and internationally, including United Nations Women Canada as part of a committee to help achieve gender equality and female empowerment, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Camp Oochigeas, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Red Door Family Shelter, and Women’s Information House.
She has also volunteered with Schools Without Borders in Kenya to help teach at-risk young women business concepts in order to open restaurants or Internet cafés.
While her work has taken her around the world – from China to Switzerland, the Dominican Republic to Tanzania – Murray says the inspiration for it all began at UBC, when, as an undergraduate, she entered into a discussion with one of her professors regarding the negative impact of big business on the environment and society.
“The professor wisely reminded me that the mobile phone, laptop and public transit I was using were made of materials mined by large corporations all over the world,” she recalls. “I had to ask myself, given this inevitability, how can business, the environment and society interact sustainably?”
“It completely changed my perspective and helped me to realize that industry and society seem to be inextricably linked and that I wanted to work constructively to support a more ethical and balanced approach. To work with all sides – the public sector, communities and the private sector to develop a balanced perspective and integrated approach.”