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Woman of the Year The Americas Highly Commended: Andrea Amozurrutia Casillas, Grupo Herdez

Published: Jul 2023

Andrea Amozurrutia Casillas

Finance and Sustainability Director

Grupo Herdez is a family-owned Mexican food company founded in 1914. The company is a leader in the processed food sector in Mexico and has a fast-growing presence in the United States. Its products are currently sold in over 600 stores across 21 countries.

A champion of sustainability and equality

Andrea Amozurrutia Casillas is Finance and Sustainability Director at Grupo Herdez and Treasury Today’s 2023 Highly Commended Winner of the Woman of the Year – The Americas.

During her time at Grupo Herdez, Andrea’s influential voice and strategic thinking have played a key role in the company’s approach to gender equality and sustainability. Alongside the day-to-day responsibilities of her role, she is a trusted advisor to the company’s CEO on gender equality matters and is also spokeswoman for the company. Before starting at Grupo Herdez in 2010, Andrea was an Investor Relations Manager at Grupo Bimbo.

In 2016, as part of her finance role, Andrea proposed creating a sustainability department for Grupo Herdez. And in 2019, she aligned the company’s sustainability strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the Global Compact of the United Nations (UN). For the first time in the company’s history, diversity and inclusion (SDG 05) became an official part of the company’s strategic agenda.

In 2022, Andrea became the first Latin American woman to join the UN Global Compact’s CFO Coalition for the SDG initiative. This group supports companies in the transition to sustainable development and encourages corporate finance and investments towards the realisation of the SDG’s.

Success in the workplace

Andrea’s drive for equality and inclusion has influenced many positive changes within Grupo Herdez. In 2020, for the first time, the company measured its base line in terms of gender equality with the aid of external experts and with this information began working on the strategic plan for the future. Two years later, the company signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP’s) of the Global Compact of the UN. Furthermore, the company is increasing its inclusivity, one example of this is the installation of lactation rooms for each of their locations, with eight currently installed.

Andrea’s role in designing and implementing the company’s sustainability strategy has been a successful one. The company received a rating of 52 out of 100 in the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) from Standard & Poor’s (S&P), ranking 14th place among companies in the food sector.

“I feel honoured and moved by this recognition, because it makes me aware of the change that one day I dreamed of making in favour of women. Seeing that so many women around the world are generating this change for future generations, and that Treasury Today gives us the opportunity to recognize them, inspires me to continue working and collaborating with other women and men to close the gender gap so that it takes us less time than statistics mark in order to get to gender equality conditions.”

The company’s sustainability efforts are ongoing and include goals running up until 2030. An important milestone is that, in 2022, Grupo Herdez became the first Mexican company in the food sector to issue a Sustainability Linked Bond in the Mexican Stock Exchange committing to reduce 25% its water consumption in 2030.

Other initiatives Andrea has been instrumental in include working in collaboration with local business academy for women, Victoria 147, to deliver a programme focused on training female entrepreneurs across Mexico. Through this initiative, 33 female led businesses have received comprehensive training and some have entered Grupo Herdez’s official roster.

Andrea’s success driving the company’s adoption of sustainability and gender equality agendas as well as the company’s involvement in the female business academy programme would not have been possible without her positive mindset. “She is an immensely determined woman, unafraid to make her voice heard and always working for the greater good,” says Ursula Quijano González, Partner and Impact, Strategy and Commercial Director at Victoria147.

Contributions to society

Andrea’s efforts towards gender equality are as evident outside of the workplace as they are within it. On a personal level, Andrea is committed to inspiring other women to pursue their dreams and build their own future and she has shared her story through participation in forums and several podcasts.

At a larger level, Andrea believes that an element of the gender finance gap is due to the lack of personal finance education among women. Therefore, in 2021 she became a financial analytics and personal finance mentor at Collective Academy, Mexico, where she particularly focuses on groups of women who have never had access to this tool to build personal wealth and become financially independent.

Andrea’s drive is further displayed through her involvement in industry conferences and panels. She has also recently gained recognition as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Business in Mexico by Expansion and Forbes magazines. Andrea’s unwavering commitment to positive change, not just within Grupo Herdez, but in wider society as well make her a truly deserving recipient of this accolade.

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