Over 40 women from varying careers and walks of life attended the She is Sustainable (SIS) annual women’s conference. The event, titled ‘She is Still Sustainable 2019’, was held at the Regent Street campus on 1 and 2 April.
The two-day conference is a networking event for mid-career women, who are working in, or aspiring to shift their work into sustainability. The first day featured keynote speakers such as Sara Parkin OBE, a former European Green Party spokesperson, who talked about how to balance a career in sustainability. Sharing some tips with the audience, Sara said: “Partnering with other women is key, when considering your life plan, be certain that other women will help you balance personal and professional development life choices.”
Another major feature of the day was a panel discussion, entitled ‘The Differences our Difference makes.’ The panellists included Becky Willis, Co-founder of She is Sustainable, who presented on gender and the workplace, Bev Milner Simonds, HR professional and Small-Business owner, who spoke about supporting LGBT+ and diversity, as well as International Climate Change Lawyer Farhana Yamin, who delivered a passionate presentation on race and ethnicity. The panellists shared their personal and professional experiences of how gender, sexuality and ethnicity can sometimes become barriers for women in their pursuit of sustainable endeavours.
The second day offered a presentation from Solitaire Townsend, Founder of international sustainability consultancy Futerra, and Author of ‘The Happy Hero’. During her talk, she highlighted the importance of having a compelling vision of the “better world you are working in service of.” Alongside Solitaire was Engineer, Footballer and Psychotherapist Sophy Banks. Sophy invited the audience to consider levels of optimism and pessimism, and to critically assess if environmental and social problems are a result of “inner” factors or “technological and systemic” factors and shared a model of positive organisational culture that can be used in families, teams and organisations.
She is Sustainable facilitates discussions for women, by women, on sustainable decisions that can impact one’s career and family life. The organisation encourages women to share their learnings, successes and failures to help inspire and build one another up.