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    9 Highlights from our Women in Sustainability Panel

    In the theme of our March “Women” Month, we highlighted three noteworthy Philly women in a panel discussion. 

    On Tuesday evening, we hosted our Women in Sustainability Leadership panel featuring Maitreyi Roy of Bartram’s Garden, Amy Kate Failing of Community Energy and Sustainable Business Network, and Jill Fink of Food Moxie. These women have all had different paths to come into leadership, so we explored their backgrounds, connections to sustainability and more.

    What did you miss? As always, we had jokes, knowledge and even a few tears. Here are a few of the evening’s takeaways.

    9 Highlights from our Women in Sustainability Panel

    1. One way to break into sustainability? Volunteer. Maitreyi and Jill both discussed how volunteering with an organization can help you find your passion, connect with others and “sample” what an organization is doing before throwing yourself in 100%.

    2. We need to add diversity to the room. Maitreyi pointed out how sustainability events need to increase diversity. One way to start? Encourage conversations and host events in church basements, at kitchen tables. Go out of your way to be inclusive to more people. (Note: We are hosting a diversity roundtable series to begin to work on this problem.)

    3. Bring other women in where you can. Amy Kate discussed being in a very male-dominated industry, and despite never having a female manager, CEO or ED, she has been conscious of hiring women interns and mentoring women professionals to help raise them up professionally.

    4. Support starts with family, partners and within a community. When asked about who helped the panelists become leaders, they all pointed to family foundations, a life partner or educators. So what other ways can we help build strong women leaders?

    5. Find a mentor or build a “personal board.” As Jill reflected on her past as an entrepreneur opening Mugshots, she encouraged the audience to assemble a personal board for advice, education, and mentorship.

    6. Empathy. Whether you’re volunteering or trying to relate to someone about a sustainability issue, “meeting” them where they are is an important starting point. Listening and having empathy will help build trust, understand and help to move forward.

    7. Find a partner that recycles. One of our fav quotes came from Jill Fink.“Recycling is kind of the lowest common denominator now. If I go on a date with a guy and he doesn’t recycle, it’s over. Where do we go from there?” (Jill, WE RELATE!)

    8. Finding that “Secret Society.” One of the attendees asked the panelists if there’s a secret society of environmental women that hang out and connect. We couldn’t identify one but are open to starting that STAT.

    9. Look for inspiration in the next generation. After one of the attendees asked about staying positive amidst climate change, Jill pointed out how much she finds inspiration in looking at the younger generation, from the marches last weekend to watching them work on climate issues.


    Thank you to everyone who attended our event and participated in the convo! Want to come to an upcoming event? Stay forward to more great Beyond the Blog events by joining our mailing list.


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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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