Posts Tagged ‘conference’

posted by | on , , , | Comments Off on Reflecting on the Greenermind Summit

By Caroline Howe

A number of DC EcoWomen attended the Greenermind Summit in late September, an annual sustainability event that provides a forum for mission-driven people to come together to share innovative ideas, teach each other new skills, make meaningful connections, and even just have solo time to rest and recharge.

The Greenermind Summit began in the Bay Area, bringing together people interested in connecting as people, rather than as jobs. A refreshing break from traditional networking led by, “What do you do?” questions, the Greenermind Summit focused getting to know who we are, what drives us and what makes us feel alive. DC EcoWoman Christine Jacobs moved from the Bay Area to DC, and was hungry for that type of connection, particularly hard to find in this career networking-focused city. She brought together volunteer organizers to organize the first Greenermind Summit East. 

Held at the gorgeous Camp Varsity in Madison, Virginia, the weekend included a mix of play, reflection and community building. By disconnecting from our phones, our work and our daily lives, we were able to connect more deeply with the gorgeous late summer weather in the woods as well as with each other. 

We enjoyed a mix of workshops facilitated by participants on everything from Cuba and its environmental challenges to improv and finding “enoughness” in a world that always values more. The Greenermind Summit is a participant-driven event, not a panel of “talking head” experts. There’s an un-conference, which means that the agenda for a series of small group conversations is set by the attendees themselves. 

In Saturday’s “un conference,” we engaged in conversations proposed by participants around topics like the future of community, financing climate initiatives, and sharing our food histories. We also harnessed the collective brilliance of the group, by having a workshop that focused on five participants’ ideas or current challenges in a “brain power hour.”

In our closing circle, we all shared a sense of being refreshed and rejuvenated from our time outside and in play, as well as energized by the powerful community. 

I’ll be taking inspiration from my experience at the Greenermind summit and will apply it to my participation with DC EcoWomen and in other areas of my life. I am a member of the DC EcoWomen Executive Board, on our Programs Committee, designing the activities that connect EcoWomen through shared service and shared learning about our world. Post-GMS, I intend to bring play into more of our activities, as well as offering some guiding questions as we get to know each other during activities of service or exploration. I will be applying a sense of play to my participation in DC EcoWomen, as well as organizing more moments for us to get outside and play together!

posted by | on , , , , , | Comments Off on Championing Diversity in Ocean Policy

by Robin Garcia

Last year, I wrote about the low representation of women during Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), a three-day conference hosted by the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation (NMSF) where hundreds of people from government, nonprofits, the business sector, and Capitol Hill come together to discuss marine and aquatic policy issues. Last month, I was back at CHOW to hear about the latest policy issues, to network, and yes – to see if there were more women highlighted this year.

Some things have yet to change; once again one women, Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State, was honored during the Ocean Awards Gala. Yet there were more women on the stage at CHOW this year. Here’s the rundown:

  • Women represented nearly 40% of the panelists compared to 30% last year.
  • The percentage of women that served as moderators dropped from 35% to about 20%.
  • CHOW’s online OceansLIVE sessions saw similar increases, with close to 60% female representation compared to last year’s 55% female representation.
  • More women of color were highlighted as well, with seven women of color featured in both the live panels and OceansLIVE sessions, compared to three women of color last year.
“Closing the Loop on Trash: Innovation and Industry Leadership” panel

“Closing the Loop on Trash: Innovation and Industry Leadership” panel

But since I’m a trained scientist, I had to ask: were these changes actually significant?

Yes, I literally ran the stats to see if these changes were in fact significant.

There was an insignificant increase in the number of women on the panels at CHOW (p = 0.63, t test in case you really want to know!), an insignificant decrease in the number of female moderators (p = 0.25), and an insignificant increase in the number of women of color (p = 0.33). However, there was a significant increase in female representation throughout the OceansLIVE sessions (p = 0.0078).

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudi?š, founder and director of AZUL, speaks with moderator Darryl Fears of the Washington Post during the “The Power of Diversity to Strengthen the Ocean Movement” panel

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudi?š, founder and director of AZUL, speaks with moderator Darryl Fears of the Washington Post during the “The Power of Diversity to Strengthen the Ocean Movement” panel

For me personally, the most exciting panels to watch were “The Power of Diversity to Strengthen the Ocean Movement” and the accompanying OceansLIVE session “Everyone’s Invited: Creating and Inclusive Ocean.” During “The Power of Diversity,” an equal panel of men and women of color discussed the lack of diversity in ocean policy and conservation, and how to empower more minorities interested in marine issues. This panel struck especially close to home for me – ever since I started graduate school for my Masters in Marine Biology, I have become too accustomed to looking around and realizing that I’m often the only person in the room that looks like me. It was mentioned during the panel that this is a difficult conversation, but the consensus was that as uncomfortable as the topic can be, it’s a necessary conversation if we have any hope of creating a marine science and policy community that better reflects the American population in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, and any other status that can divide us.

Another interesting panel to highlight was titled “Local Voices and Traditional Knowledge for a Sustainable Arctic Economy.” Again, an equal panel of men and women, all of Alaska native heritage, discussed how they can be valuable in the movement to develop a sustainable Arctic economy that both protects the Arctic environment and supports a growing economy.

Overall, great changes have happened and we should recognize and support them. Not only were there some increases in diversity, but there were multiple panels that focused on the benefits of diverse voices in ocean policy.

So, how can we move forward?

What I noticed was that many of the most diverse panels were those that focused on diversity. I would love to attend a CHOW where all panels, whether they’re focus on diversity in the marine community or the future of offshore energy, are diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and more. Why can’t every panel include an equal number of men and women, an equal number of white people and people of color? That’s the CHOW I want to see next year and in years to come.

Robin is a Policy Analyst at NOAA and a DC EcoWomen board member. A DC native, she enjoys exploring her hometown, developing her yoga skills, and getting out on the water as much as possible. She is especially excited that the season of free outdoor events is finally here. 

posted by | on , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sustainable Cities are Paving the Way at COP21

By Lindsay Parker

This week, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 has begun. This conference is a very. big. deal. If successful, it could be a decisive moment in the fight against climate change.

Leaders from 150 countries along with 40,000 delegates from 195 countries are meeting to reach an agreement on how to address our biggest environmental challenge. Without international action, our climate is on track to warm up to 5C (9F) above pre-industrial levels, causing weather extremes and devastating our natural resources. The results of these negotiations are critical.

Leading up to the conference, political leaders and activists have responded to the call to address climate change. Countries across the world are setting sustainability goals, federally and locally. In particular, cities are enacting policies that reduce emissions and support mitigation and adaptation to global warming.

Source: Ben Johnson

Source: Ben Johnson

Today, half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities , and roughly 5.2 billion people are projected to live in urban communities by 2050.

Cities are hubs for economic and social advancement, commerce, and culture; however, they are also the source of many energy-intensive processes and emissions: building energy consumption, vehicles and transportation, solid waste water treatment, industry, and more.

To ensure a slowdown of global warming, urban areas face a challenge: remaining hubs for jobs  and prosperity, while limiting environmental impacts.

Fun facts about cities:

While cities face a sustainability challenge, they have an opportunity to enact influential climate policy much quicker than federal governments. In the U.S., Congressional inaction towards cohesive climate policy has pushed local leaders to take matters into their own hands. Currently, cities around the world are working to cut emissions, support public transportation, and increase efficiency. They are proving that they can fight climate change while growing economically.

The move toward sustainable and efficient infrastructure will not be cheap. Luckily, cities can benefit from international funding, particularly those in developing countries.  Mexico City, for example, has pledged to commit 10% of the city’s budget to resilience goals. UNFCCC financing mechanisms, such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), provide grants up to $10 million for urban transport projects and low-emission urban systems to all non-Annex I members of the UN. Likewise, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), also instituted by the COP, finances low emission cities using $10 billion from country pledges.

Today, during a special Summit at the COP21, over 1,000 mayors will join President Obama and Secretary Kerry for the Climate Summit for Local LeadersThe event is co-hosted by Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. The event will bring a collection of local actors together to urge action and build upon the efforts of the Compact of Mayors.

The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of city officials who pledge to create ambitious climate action plans, increase resilience to global warming, reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions, and publicly track progress toward each goal. Currently, 382 cities, representing 345,853,881 people worldwide and 4.7% of the total global population have committed to the Compact of Mayors. Major cities involved include:

Cities are leading as an example for national governments that is it possible to set and achieve more ambitious goals for emissions reductions. These officials will present their ambitious climate action plans at the COP21.

President Obama addresses attendees at COP21 in Paris Source: :

President Obama addresses attendees at COP21 in Paris
Source: US State Department

Earlier this year, President Obama announced his goal for 100 US cities join the Compact by the start of COP21. That goal has been met and exceeded. Across the country and the world, cities are taking action by retrofitting buildings, upgrading transportation, and building efficient infrastructure.

In the U.S., cities are already making great headway:

Internationally, megacities in the C40 network are leading the way with low carbon goals and sustainable urban growth. This group represents half a billion people and 25% of global GDP, and they have promised to shift towards sustainable policies. Below are actions taken by leading cities:

  • London plans to install 6,000 charging points and 3,000 battery-powered cars by 2018
  • Gothenburg and Johannesburg have issued $489 million worth of green bonds
  • Shanghai will invest $16.3 billion over the next 3 years on 220 anti-pollution projects

In sum, the COP21 is on track to have some significant outcomes. If you live in a city, you’re likely to see evidence of these first hand. You can contribute to reducing global warming by taking public transportation, turning off lights, and supporting your local sustainability leader.

Lindsay Parker is a Texas native with a Masters of Public Policy focused on energy and climate policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. She is currently working at the U.S. Department of Energy on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. When she’s not hiking, she enjoys choir, running, swing dancing, and yoga.

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By Robin Garcia

Last month I attended Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) – a three-day conference hosted by the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation (NMSF) where hundreds of people from various levels of government, nonprofits, the business sector, and Capitol Hill come together to discuss marine and aquatic policy issues. NMSF also holds an annual Ocean Awards Gala in conjunction with CHOW to recognize leaders with a commitment to a healthy ocean. With my background in marine biology, current position in science communication, and interest in environmental policy, I could not pass up the opportunity to experience such a meeting.

"Changing Maritime Commerce Space: The Direction of U.S. Shipping" panel.

“Changing Maritime Commerce Space: The Direction of U.S. Shipping” panel.

While I felt very much at home in the audience among women my age, I couldn’t help but notice that there were few women – literally – to look up to on the panel platform. Women are increasingly participating in the marine science workforce and in academia: my own graduate program is mostly female. But no one could figure that out by looking at the panelists. Women made up only 30% of the panels, and 35% of them served as panel moderators instead of panelists. CHOW’s online OceansLIVE sessions were marginally better with 55% female representation, yet like the panels managed to include a session featuring only men. Women as a whole were underrepresented, but women of color were frightfully scarce. CHOW included only three women of color throughout the entire week. Women were similarly misrepresented at the Ocean Awards Gala. Of the four individuals that were presented with a top award, one was a woman – Laura Bush, who was awarded the Leadership Award in partnership with former President George W. Bush.

"Commanders of the Sea: Women Leading the Way in Ocean Stewardship" OceansLIVE session.

“Commanders of the Sea: Women Leading the Way in Ocean Stewardship” OceansLIVE session.

There were one specific situation in which women were front and center. The last OceansLIVE session was “Commanders of the Sea: Women Leading the Way in Ocean Stewardship”. The session featured women from high school to well-established in her career, and explored the roles that women have played in ocean leadership and stewardship. It is worth noting that while the gender representation in CHOW was similar last year, this session was a clear effort to increase recognition of women in the field.

Overall, CHOW was a wonderful experience. There were lively discussions on topics ranging from sustainable seafood, to collaborative marine conservation with Cuba, to what the American youth think of the future. It was exhilarating to hear the passion behind comments such as “We must accept the science” from a senator and “I am sick and tired of pervasive myths about aquaculture in this country” from a university professor. The material was engaging and exciting, and I hope that CHOW builds upon this year’s efforts and continues to support women in marine and aquatic fields, specifically by inviting more female panelists. There is a wealth of female environmental champions on Capitol Hill to engage with during a future CHOW, including Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. There are many female scientists that could contribute to CHOW, including Nancy Knowlton, the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History; Jackie Savitz, the Vice President for U.S. Oceans at Oceana; Deborah Lee, Director of NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory; and Kimberly Reece, Department Chair of Aquatic Health Sciences at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. These lists are of course not all-inclusive, but they would be an excellent place to start.

Dr. Dionne Hoskins with a group of Savannah State University students at NOAA's 2014 Education and Science Forum.

Dr. Dionne Hoskins with a group of Savannah State University students at NOAA’s 2014 Education and Science Forum.

I would also like to see more diversity in the panelists, for both women and men. Female marine biologists of color that could be featured during CHOW include Dionne Hoskins, a fishery biologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Galveston Laboratory and an Associate Professor at Savannah State University; Danni Washington, Founder of The Big Blue and You; and Shuyi Chen, Professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The need to increase diversity in the marine science community could also be a topic for discussion at a future CHOW and has been addressed by some of these women.

CHOW must remain on the cutting edge of the scientific and social implications of marine and aquatic issues in order to remain relevant to Capitol Hill and to the nation. Over half of the U.S. population is female. The Hispanic population has increased by over 40% in ten years, and U.S. citizens of color support environmental protection at a higher rate than Caucasian citizens. It is time for CHOW to reflect those trends. Next year’s CHOW has already been scheduled for June 7-9, 2016, and I will definitely be attending again and looking to see whether NMSF increases its encouragement of women in this important discussion.

Robin is a Communication Specialist at NOAA and a DC EcoWomen board member. A DC native, she enjoys exploring her hometown, developing her yoga skills, and getting out on the water as much as possible. She is also waiting to see what Shark Week replaces Megaladon with this year. 

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Extraction Has A Human Face

Written by Caroline Selle, the Zero Waste Girl

At Power Shift 2013, thousands of young people gathered to talk and learn about justice in the environmental movement. Held Oct. 18-21, the latest edition of the biannual conference focused on the the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality with fossil fuel extraction and climate change. And as the problems with racism and environmental justice issues continue to be prevalent in Washington, D.C., this conference couldn’t have come sooner.

As an environmental reporter focusing on justice and as a past Power Shift organizer, I was eager to attend the conference’s newest iteration. It’s no secret the environmental movement is deeply divided. Environmental justice (EJ) advocates have long said mainstream environmental activists focus on politics and policy at the expense of people. Mainstream environmentalists argue some sacrifice is necessary for progress. But sacrifice for whom?

“We don’t think of the people who are sacrificed to make our lives easier,” said Yudith Nieto, one of the conference’s keynote speakers. “I am one of them.”

With panels such as “A Cage or a Classroom?: The School-to-Prison Pipeline Affecting EJ Communities,” and “Economic Justice and Empowerment: Challenging Classism in Our Communities,” attendees were introduced to the impacts felt by frontline communities by people from those communities. “People, not policies,” is an uncomfortable reality, but one that needs to be faced.

Nieto lives in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston, Texas, one of the most polluted neighborhoods in the U.S. The community is surrounded by the Valero, Lyondell Basell, and Texas Petro-Chemicals oil refineries, and residents suffer from elevated incidence of cancer and asthma, among other disease. Now, the community is preparing for an onslaught of tar sands from the Southern half of the Keystone XL.

In addition to Nieto, activists traveled from frontline communities in states ranging from Louisiana to California, and Indiana to Utah. The keynote speakers included Kimberly Wasserman of Little Village, Chicago, Josh Fox, director of Gasland, and twelve-year-old Ta’Kaiya, singer-songwriter of the Sliammon Nation who performed to thunderous applause.

Power Shift 2013 wasn’t without its controversies, including a counter protest and pamphlet handed out criticizing organizers for using empty words. “I wasn’t sure if this was the right space for my voice, my community,” Wasserman told the crowd at her keynote, explaining she her tough decision. She decided to attend Power Shift, she said, because, “…the reality of our movement calls for tough conversations.”

If the conference had a theme this year, it was a simple one: Extraction has a human face.

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on For Earth’s Sake, Get Organized!

Marin Rose presented at the DC EcoWomen Conference in the “Organize Your Life” workshop. The following is excerpted from her corresponding post on the Functionable Fashionable blog.

Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot about the environmental benefits of being organized. You might think that saving things rather than discarding them is better for the environment – this is sometimes the case. The truth is, though, that the basic principles of organized living support the tenets of being green. And there are, of course, eco-friendly ways to make your home more functional and more fashionable. It’s all about finding the right places for your existing belongings and making plans to reduce future consumption.

The first step in drawing order from chaos is the all-important “purge.” Disposing of large quantities of stuff sounds wasteful but, done thoughtfully, it is actually the very definition of efficiency. Many organizers advise you to sort your belongings into these categories:

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Trash

Items that you keep will continue to serve a purpose for you and your family. Donated items will benefit others in your community. Sold items also help others, with the added benefit of a profit for you. Only trashed items are environmentally harmful. Ensure that your trashed items are few. In addition to the abovementioned four categories, also create piles to:

  • Recycle
  • Shred

Anything in working order that you are unable or unwilling (due to time or logistical constraints) to sell is eligible for donation. Goodwill, for instance, takes all sorts of clothing, books, music and household items. You might also consider offering things to libraries, schools or shelters.

It’s critical that you securely dispose of sensitive documents – anything displaying your social security number, or financial or medical information – by shredding it. Just remember that the shredded materials are recyclable.

There’s a common misconception that letting go of clutter means throwing away things of value. In fact, when items are disposed of conscientiously, they are actually set free to take on increased value. Unused, unloved items are redirected to new homes, where they will actively serve a purpose or be converted into something else that does so. Not only does this benefit recipients, it also eliminates the need to dedicate resources to the production of a brand new item. In this way, second-hand markets reduce overall resource consumption.

But these at-large efficiencies, though compelling, are not the only benefits of de-cluttering. They are also felt on an individual level. How many times have you purchased something only to discover you already had one – or more – at home? How many perishable items have you had to throw away unopened? When we finally take time to empty out our closets, pantries, attics and garages, we get a full picture of what we already possess. By taking stock of what we have and organizing it in a logical, accessible manner, we cease to over-buy. We save money by eliminating unnecessary purchases, and we save time searching or shopping for the things we need. We re-allocate existing products, thereby saving natural resources – all while providing for our local and global communities.

For young children who are resistant to the idea of cleaning out their bedrooms, framing the subject in an Earth-friendly vein may just help your cause. Kids now are taught in school to be environmentally conscious and often come home with all sorts of dictates for how the household must be more greenly managed. Organizing their own belongings is one way they can take personal action. Talking with your family about mindful consumption is an opportunity to impart valuable life lessons – not only about the environment but about personal organization skills and responsible financial management.

Your tech-savvy children are well equipped to contribute in an even greater way to household efficiency. Today technology presents some of the best opportunities for saving natural resources, as well as your time, space and money. Next month we’ll explore some of the creative ways we can use electronics to get organized and go green.

Wikimedia Commons

Questions for Marin? Send inquiries to [email protected]

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 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.

  • Take pauses and relate to your audience, move naturally.
  •  Colorful language and storytelling help people to remember what you’re saying.
  • People need to hear things 7-12 times to remember them. Repetition!
  • No matter what you are saying, when you slow down it sounds more important.
  • Flatness of delivery can result in no one remembering what you said. Spice it up!
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Make sure you have a financial equation that equals security.
  • The equation: Protection + Savings + Investing + Tax minimization = Security
  • For protection: consider disability insurance, life insurance (if you have children) and long term insurance.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Buy a money magazine! Or start with your own statements and break them down.
  • 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!

  • Know how much you’re worth! Research salary ranges for the job, and check with your network.
  • Let employer mention a salary figure first. The party who puts a number on the table first is at the greater disadvantage.
  • Use a range if you have to say how much you want. Be clear if it includes benefits or not.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Act like everyday is a performance review. Make yourself invaluable and indispensable.
  • Translate the work you did as something that made the boss and company look good. Bring it to your performance review.
  • 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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You can be a leader. You already are a leader.

These words of wisdom were heard from Keynote Speaker Dr. Betty Spence at the  First Annual DC EcoWomen Conference: “I’m Here, What’s Next? Building Your Sustainable Career.” Betty spoke to a roomful of women, full of infectious anticipation, about why women need equality in the workplace, and how they might get it.

Dr. Spence said that in her experience, women only want to bring other women up. We all face certain barriers, but we have a network of support to overcome them. This network is of utmost importance, especially in a city like Washington D.C.  The network can include mentors, sponsors, and even just acquaintances from networking happy hours.

Betty’s words coordinated well with the final event of the day:  a networking workshop with Suzy Mink, Director of Principal Gifts for the Mid-Atlantic region of The Nature Conservancy. Suzy touched on several things discussed in the Networking for Introverts post on our blog, and gave even more helpful tools and resources to help women excel at networking.

We were all there to support each other.  But one of the lessons learned that day was that women should not be afraid of the other side of that equation, to ask for favors – even from someone you’ve only just met. In order to create change and parity for women in the workplace, we need a network of support. This network has to start somewhere – someone has to ask first.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, we’d like to provide you with some support!

Here are Dr. Spence’s 10 Strategies for Success:

  1. Perform beyond expectations – get things done before they are due, do more than what is asked
  2. Build expertise & credibility – make sure you’re getting experience that builds your skills
  3. Take the initiative – if there is an opportunity, don’t hesitate to jump for it
  4. Take risks, step outside of your comfort zone
  5. Diversify your experience. Learn the different parts of your field.
  6. Meet a Mentor. Some say mentors are key to success. In any case, they can only help.
  7. Get known. Talk about what you do, make your successes known.
  8. Find a Sponsor
  9. Network! Meeting people is the only way to break into some careers in D.C.
  10. Take responsibility for your career, own your strengths
Suzy Mink also left us with several insights on networking:
  1. Practice good etiquette
  2. Be willing to engage, to be the one extending a helping hand
  3. Persevere, be resilient in creating contacts
  4. Believe in yourself, be confident
  5. Talk about your aspirations – people like to hear what gets you excited!
  6. Listen. Ask questions that can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes or no.’
  7. Use the virtual world, whatever means you have, to keep in touch
  8. Anyone you meet can be helpful if you make the connection


At the end of the day, the EcoWomen were left with feelings of connection, excitement, and empowerment. That excitement was taken to McGinty’s for the networking happy hour, to practice the newly learned skills and discuss the workshops.

Stay tuned for more updates on the workshops themselves! And don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and make a new connection. You never know who could be the person to lead you to your dream job.

posted by | on , , , , , | Comments Off on 10 Networking Tips for the DC EcoWomen Happy Hour

I have a secret to spill. Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time), I love spending my free time by myself. I will explore the city on my bike, read a book next to the river, or sit in a cafe for hours with only a pen and paper for company. You may have guessed it: I am an introvert.

There’s been somewhat of an introvert ‘revolution’ in our country – probably the most quiet and peaceful revolution of our time. Scientists are realizing just how many people identify themselves as introverts, or have introverted characteristics: a whopping 50% of the US population. Recently, articles and books have been popping up all over to help introverts (and others) understand the circumstances that seem to favor extroverts.

Why is this important for your career? Living in D.C., networking is essential. But it can be scary, especially for an introvert.

The good news is that there are a lot of resources to help you and make networking easier.  There are many things you can do before your next networking event, during the event, and afterwards to get the most out of networking. If you want to breeze through your next event, try some of these tips!

Before The Event

1. Know what you want to get out of it.

Networking isn’t always about finding a job. Are you looking for a new mentor? Information on how to break into a certain industry? Hoping to tell people about an upcoming event of yours? Recruiting for volunteers? Make sure you have answers to these questions – know your goal.

2. Do your homework.

Is there going to be a specific person at this event you want to know? If you know what sort of crowd will be there, you can at least have an idea. Research your industry of interest beforehand. If you have trouble with small talk, maybe even come up with some compelling conversation-starters beforehand.

3. Prepare.

If there’s one place to put an elevator speech – a 20 to 30 second long pitch about your assets and goals – to work, it’s at a networking event. Practice this beforehand.

During The Event

4. Take Initiative

Don’t be afraid to be the first one to walk up to someone with an outstretched hand, or enter a conversation and introduce yourself. Be the first to offer help when it is needed. Playing the active role will make you seem confident, even if you aren’t feeling that way.

5. Use their name

Everyone likes to hear their name! If you repeat someone’s name, not only does it help you remember, but it gives that person a little boost of happiness. Try to repeat their name when they first introduce themselves, and throughout the conversation as well.

6. Learn to listen

Ask open-ended questions about the other person. Really listen to what they are saying, with all of your focus. This lets the other person know you value what they are saying.

7. Be personal, be genuine

Being genuine goes hand in hand with listening. Talk to people you really want to know about, and tell them something real about yourself, too.

After The Event

 8. Take notes

As soon as you get home, it’s a great idea to write down everything you remember. On each business card you receive, you can write notes about who gave them to you. Did you learn about a new event? An insight to your industry? A way to learn a new skill? Write them down, before you forget!

9. Say thank you, follow up

The networking event is just the beginning. If you want to form a relationship with someone new, it’s important to follow up right away. Send thank-you notes – you could even be personal and write a card! Schedule a follow up meeting if you’d like to continue the conversation.

10. Practice!  

There are networking opportunities all the time in this city for networking. The best way to get comfortable with networking is to just do it! What’s more, DC EcoWomen are giving you the perfect opportunity to flex those networking muscles – at our post-conference happy hour!

Maybe you’ll leave your next event with 100 connections, or maybe just one or two really great contacts. Hopefully, you will form a meaningful relationship with someone, or learn something truly valuable.

It’s comforting to know that about half of the people at your next networking event are introverts. But with help, and with practice, networking can be easy – and fun! So give it a shot: on May 18th, come to our networking happy hour and say hello. Even if it doesn’t land your dream job, you’ll get to enjoy the night with delicious appetizers, drinks, and genuine company.

Hope to see you there!

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Channeling your Inner Wonder Woman… and Other Tips for Body Language in the Workplace

In the workplace, certain things about your body language come as second-nature. If you’re tired during a meeting, you might slouch in your chair. Maybe you get distracted while someone is talking to you, so you glance around the room. Without even realizing, you touch your neck for comfort in a stressful situation.

Body language is surprisingly important in the workplace. The way you move and act may have unintended impacts on how others perceive you, and how you perceive yourself. Body language can make the difference between getting that extra raise or getting stuck on the bottom. Body language can affect the job experience in ways that you might not expect.

Many situations arise in which you have to prove yourself and show your worth – these are the situations where the importance of body language comes into play.

Here are some “do”s and “don’t”s for body language in the workplace:


Get into positions of insecurity. Certain mannerisms can give off an air of nervousness or uncertainty. People respond to confidence and determination in the workplace.

  • Touching one’s neck is often subconscious reaction to stress.
  • Keeping ankles crossed is also a sign of restraint or discomfort.
  • Having your arms crossed can show you are holding something back.
  • Slouching too deep into your seat is also a bad idea.

In general, any manner of curling or folding into yourself shows insecurity.


Take a position of dominance. This can take many forms – in general, you want to lengthen your posture and widen your stance.

  • Sit with your arm propped up on the chair next to you.
  • Keep your ankles side by side instead of crossed.
  • Keep your arms open when engaging with someone to show you are open
  • Lean forward to express interest.
  • Make eye contact, especially during a handshake.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out your “dominance” stand, just think of Wonder Woman. How would she pose? How would she handle the situation?

Even before a stressful situation, body language may even be more important – including when nobody’s watching. Amy Cuddy’s research, profiled in a TedTalk, shows that getting into a position of power and dominance, even for two minutes, can change your hormone balance, and have a positive impact on how you handle stress.  Likewise, being in a position of confinement can negatively impact your hormones, and possibly worsen the outcome of a negotiation.

Flickr Creative Commons

If you have an office with a closed door, Cuddy even suggests standing up on your chair or desk (if it’s safe, of course!) for an extra power-stance boost. This is not a suggestion to stand on your desk during a job interview! But beforehand, and in the privacy of your own office, it doesn’t hurt to feel like you’re on top of the world.

It’s time for Ecowomen to become Wonder Women – or  EcoWonder Women!

Do you want to learn more about how to become a EcoWonder Woman, and advance your career? Join us at the First Annual EcoWomen Conference: I’m Here, What’s Next? Building a Sustainble Career!