Today we celebrate the release of The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil. Based on her experiences with BP and the United Nations, Christine Bader addresses human rights abuses linked to business and how ‘corporate idealists’ work to prevent them. Read more below in our interview with the author!
What inspired you to write The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist?
When I was working for BP in Indonesia and China and writing friends and family back home (before blogs were blogs), I realized most people don’t know that companies do so much to invest in workers, communities, and the environment in ways that are not for public relations purposes, far away from the cameras and inextricably linked with the business.
So I started to think about writing a book, but didn’t really get going on it until after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. That tragedy forced me to engage in some serious reflection about what it means to be one person fighting the good fight in a company. I realized that I had lots of peers in similar positions, and that we had a collective story to tell.
What was your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?
I interviewed dozens of people whom I’ve known for years, but never really spoken with about how they feel about their work. It was such an honor to be trusted with their stories and emotions, and amazing to see so many common themes, even across different companies and industries.
I hope that my book will be a helpful resource for people working in and with companies, and students and career-switchers who want to join their ranks. I also hope that it appeals to concerned shoppers and investors, wondering where to put their money after tragic incidents like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and the Deepwater Horizon explosion; to policymakers and campaigners, and anyone wanting an inside view of the brands that have such a big influence on our lives.
What are you reading right now?
“The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” by Gary Shteyngart. His other books have made me laugh out loud and smirk so deeply, I wanted to see what his first book was like!