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Professional Development Tips from the Workshops

At the First Annual DC EcoWomen Conference, we were addressed by speakers with words of empowerment, words that brought us all closer together. The keynote and closing speakers brought everyone into the same room to share their visions for us as key players in the path to equality.

But what made the conference so special to many people were the smaller, more intimate workshops throughout the day. Each EcoWomen had a personalized agenda to cater to her interests, which varied widely – from yoga in the workplace to green financial investing.

In creating a network of empowerment and equality for women, someone has to make the initial offer to help. So the attendees of the EcoWomen conference wanted to share what they learned in the workshops with all who couldn’t attend the conference. Read on to learn the best lessons and impressions of the day from those who want you to learn how to build your sustainable career.

Public Speaking

The public speaking workshop was both extremely engaging and comprehensive. Standing style, sitting style, tone, eye contact, dress, hand positions — Chris Janke covered it all, and we were encouraged to stand up and practice in real time. The world of our unconscious actions was made completely conscious, giving us the self-awareness and extra confidence that each of us was eager to find.

  1. Take pauses and relate to your audience, move naturally.

  2.  Colorful language and storytelling help people to remember what you’re saying.

  3. People need to hear things 7-12 times to remember them. Repetition!

  4. No matter what you are saying, when you slow down it sounds more important.

  5. Flatness of delivery can result in no one remembering what you said. Spice it up!

  6. Stand with one foot in front of other, and your weight in back foot. No swaying. Create a strong presence by dropping your shoulders back.

  7. Seated on a panel? Choose your clothing wisely! Steer clear of wrap dresses, shirt dresses etc.

Beginning Financial Planning 

When you invest your money, you need a strategy of what you envision, what you want. Ask yourself:  What is your goal, 10 years out?  Don’t just focus on retirement! It’s time to start planning right now.

  1. Make sure you have a financial equation that equals security.

  2. The equation: Protection + Savings + Investing + Tax minimization = Security

  3. For protection: consider disability insurance, life insurance (if you have children) and long term insurance.

  4. For savings: Consider the money needed for an emergency. Know the financial situations of yourself, your spouse and even your parents in case something happens.

  5. For investing: research 401k, IRA, and investment accounts. Base your investment strategy off of your risk tolerance (more stock is riskier, more bonds is safer).

  6. Buy a money magazine! Or start with your own statements and break them down.

  7. Find a professional to help.

Salary Negotiation

Negotiation is about more than money – it’s about taking care of yourself and family. Women ask for raises and promotions approximately 85% less than men do. You stand to lose as much as $1 million if you don’t negotiate!

  1. Know how much you’re worth! Research salary ranges for the job, and check with your network.

  2. Let employer mention a salary figure first. The party who puts a number on the table first is at the greater disadvantage.

  3. Use a range if you have to say how much you want. Be clear if it includes benefits or not.

  4. Be confident in selling your skills. Use other offers to your advantage. By the time you’re negotiating, they want you, so they’ll pay.

  5. Say it! I’m worth it, I need more, I have to have… If you don’t ask and don’t make a case for yourself, no one else will.

  6. Act like everyday is a performance review. Make yourself invaluable and indispensable.

  7. Translate the work you did as something that made the boss and company look good. Bring it to your performance review.

  8. If you can’t negotiate for hard cash, try asking for benefits (days off, bonuses, insurance, work from home, trainings, classes).

Keep an eye out for our Career Resources pages, where we will be posting more information from the conference workshops and more!

Thanks to EcoWomen Dawn Bickett and Jessica Lubetsky for providing their insights from the conference!


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