Cheryl Goodman Effective Leadership through Corporate Social Responsibility


As the Head of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at Sony Electronics, Cheryl Goodman is responsible for driving partnerships with regional, national, and local non-profits that align with Sony’s core values. She has gained her talents and expertise during her 20-year tenure in the communications sector, she has worked as a broadcast journalist, executive director, and founder of several startups.

In this month’s feature, Cheryl discusses how to empower women in the workplace, practice self-compassion, and much more.

GB Magazine: What is corporate social responsibility? Why is it important?

Cheryl Goodman: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business model that helps a company stay socially accountable. Stakeholders include employees, the public, and partners. This corporate citizenship is designed to have a positive impact on all aspects of society including social, environmental, and economic. CSR activities, when done well, establish stronger connections between corporations and communities, improve morale, and help both employees and employers be more engaged with the world around them.

GB: What steps can companies take to empower women in the workplace?

CG: To empower someone is to give them power, which means you did not have that power in the first place. So, if you address diversity in the workplace – where women intrinsically leverage their own power from the start – do not treat it like charity. It is more about recognizing your power and aligning with leaders who invest in your skills, abilities, and talents.

Inclusive environments produce equal opportunities and a seat at the table. This means making room for others to share their ideas and have them be heard, which leads to real innovation. Environments like Sony cultivate meaningful mentorships, which provide practical life skills. To me, that is the true value of empowerment – offering women equal opportunities and access to information.

GB: How do you practice self-compassion?

CG: Women often find themselves in the role of caregivers at home and/or at work. But women sometimes neglect caring for themselves. Finding the time to invest in myself is my form of self-compassion. This involves being kind to myself and reflecting on my goals and my purpose. For me, self-care comes in the form of exercising and surfing, specifically in La Jolla.

GB: Which local non-profit organizations do you support? What drew you to them?

CG: For years, I have been heavily involved with Athena, even before taking a leadership role at Sony. When it comes to women in leadership, Athena is a pillar within our community.
Additionally, I have always been a big advocate of the USD Social Innovation Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies program, as well as an advocate for women in STEM and innovation. I also sit on the advisory committee of the Boys and Girls Club Pacific Military Youth of the Year and on the board of the Digital Entertainment Group.

Something else close to my heart is caring for our local displaced youth and homeless population. After I discovered the incredible work of Dream for Change, my husband and I decided that in place of gifts for our wedding, we would ask for donations to be made to their organization. The Dream for Change program focuses on the path to stability, including a safe overnight parking program for homeless people living out of their cars or RVs in San Diego.

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Esteban Villanueva