Beatriz Ferreira Pupo
Global Manager, Biofuels Analytics – S&P Global
Beatriz Pupo is a global leader at S&P Global working in Brazil. As a manager within the Commodity Insights arm of the company, she is responsible for advising some of the world’s largest companies and governments on the future of biofuels in the energy transition. She is also a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion board member at WINS – S&P Global largest people resource group – focused on gender equity. Amongst other things, within this position, she has been passionate about creating safe spaces for discussions that challenge the status quo and address taboo topics such as menstrual awareness. Beatriz is focused on bringing her personal experience with mental health and neurodiversity as a Latin, highly sensitive person, to tackle stigmas and inspire a more holistic, conscious approach to wellness and life-work balance in corporations. She has pioneered a full-time work-from-home reality since 2009 and meditation has been a vital part of her life for over a decade now.
1. In a nutshell, please tell us a little about your career journey until this point.
I was born and raised in Santos, Brazil – where the largest port of Latin America is located. I graduated with a bachelor’s in international Affairs and had the opportunity to start working in global shipping and logistics companies while still attending my first year in university. Since 2008 I have been in the biofuels industry and I am currently Global Manager for Biofuels Analytics at S&P Global Commodities Insights. In this role I am responsible for leading a global team focused on generating market analysis, insights and forecasts to advise some of the world’s largest energy companies and governments.
Since 2020 I have also been committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion at S&P Global by serving as a People Resource Group (PRG) leader. On a global level I engage with diverse leaders across the company and externally to create and sustain programming that is impactful. My ultimate goal is to inspire a new mindset and to transform how business and individuals can collectively shape and impact the S in ESG.
2. Who is your role model and why? (Either professional, like a Mentor, or personal).
My parents have been my strongest role models. They are both innovative leaders within their domains who have sought to challenge the status quo and act to change the world around them.
My father is a pediatrician who pioneered work for diversity and inclusion in Down Syndrome (now also called Trisomy 21) following the birth of my younger sister in 1990. He co-created Brazil´s National Down Syndrome Federation and wrote a book on the topic. My mother is an obstetrician/gynecologist who has led the movement for humanized childbirth in Brazil and has transformed one of Santos main hospitals.
Their commitment to improving their communities and their fields of work is a constant inspiration. This has imbedded intrinsic values not only in my approach to life in general, but within my own career journey as well.
“Their commitment to improving their communities and their fields of work is a constant inspiration.”
3. What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what’s your greatest career achievement?
The biggest risk I took involved trading a promising career and incredible opportunity to work and live in Switzerland for the decision to restart as an immigrant in Canada. But, as history is written in the making, when I resigned from the position in Switzerland, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer to continue to work for the same company, but remotely (in Canada). This has allowed me to pioneer a full-time work from home reality since 2009. This experience was pivotal to my professional development.
In terms of career achievement, I am lucky to have had many highlights such as the opportunity to meet and present for different government officials in Latin America and to be a keynote speaker at prestigious places such as the Copacabana Palace in Rio. More recently, my greatest achievements are related to creating, fostering and sustaining safe community spaces in the corporate world to explore topics in wellbeing, gender and racial equity.
4. In a short sentence – what would you tell your 18-year-old self if they could see you now?
Start meditating and cultivating deep self-awareness. These habits and practices have had the power to complete transform several aspects of my life and my relationship with the world.
5. How has your personal journey shaped the way you navigate your career?
My battle with depression for a good part of young adult life has thought me vulnerability and resilience go hand and hand. From my experience, the more I allow myself to be human, open and curious to deal with the complexities of life, the more grit I develop. The idea that we can all be role models in our day-to-day interactions, contributing to a better world, one action, word and thought at a time is my north star.
6. What is one myth or misconception surrounding mental health that you want to see debunked?
Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), the number one misconception I would like to see debunked is the perception that being sensitive equals to being weak. HSPs demonstrate high sensory-processing sensitivity are 20 percent of the population.
Having a more responsive nervous system makes HSPs process information, physical, emotional and social stimuli more deeply. In a world that overvalues extroversion and ‘toughness’, being sensitive can often be misunderstood. Awareness, self-acceptance and confidence and key for the people with the trait to thrive.
7. How has connecting globally with people in other countries/regions influenced your thinking or approach?
From the first time I saw an exchange student attending my senior year in college in Brazil, at 17 years old, I was fascinated. It literally changed my life. From that point on I cannot imagine having chosen another journey that didn’t start with me immediately applying to be a foreign exchange student as well. Afterwards, I spent nearly a decade in Montreal, Canada – one of the most diverse cities in the globe. With these experiences I learned first-hand how to expand my perspective, how to communicate across cultural boundaries, how to value unique traits. It thought me to be adaptable, flexible and to approach life and work centered around cross-collaboration and respect.
8. How do you think driving inclusion in your country or region differs from other parts of the world? Are there unique challenges or opportunities?
Brazil is a massive country, quite complex. Its steep social inequities, the lack of political and economic stability, coupled with lagging long-term policies to address basic needs is a challenge in many areas of life for the majority of the population. Regarding, mental health, unfortunately Brazil is one of the countries most affected by depression and anxiety disorders in Latin America. I long to see mental health as a human right in Brazil, with the implementation of strong governance bodies to provide comprehensive mental, physical and social wellbeing to the most vulnerable.
9. What are two pieces of key practical advice that you would give business leaders and allies to drive inclusion for mental health in business?
One of the most crucial and effective, in my opinion, is to have business leaders that role model healthy life-work balance that is conducive of supporting mental health. This can foster an inclusive, psychologically safe workplace where employees can prioritize their wellbeing. The key really is that leaders have to ‘walk the talk’. Meaning no employee (or very few) will feel comfortable prioritizing their mental health – say requesting a day off when needed or feeling secure in declining a non-urgent meeting – if they do not see these messages and actions from their leaders first.