As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we caught up with some of the inspiring women we work with who are leading the charge against climate change to ask them for their thoughts on women, equality and equity in the climate space.
Bianca Pitt, SHE changes climate
Bianca is Co-founder of SHE changes climate, a global campaign, driving awareness of the crucial role of women in accelerating just climate action.
“Our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency requires bold decisions and strong leadership. We need new architects and builders on board, to create a sustainable world for all: women. This is not only fair, but will make us all more successful too. 50:50 Vision is required to achieve the transformation of our operating systems - we now want women to redesign the finance, energy, transport and food industries.”
Ellie Besley-Gould, Head of Purpose, Hawksmoor
Ellie is Head of Purpose at Hawksmoor, a B Corp restaurant group that has ambitious goals for sustainability and seeks to grow with integrity.
“The climate sector is growing rapidly, somewhat un-strategically and, crucially, with a lot more men than women in leadership roles. Seeing experienced, qualified women visibly taking on those positions and moving through the identity shift needed to become industry leaders is a critical part of inspiring women and girls to move into arguably the most important work happening today.”
Josephine Bush, CFA ESG, ESG Strategy
Josephine has a wealth of experience in ESG and Sustainable Finance strategy advisory and execution and is Net Zero Now’s Non Executive Director.
“The sustainability sector needs people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and insights to come to the table to help solve the existential threat we face. It is a complex problem that touches all parts of the economy and individuals lives. Women have a significant role to play in leading the change we want to see. We can step forward and be bold, brave leaders. We can use our voice and leadership to influence and inspire others. Importantly we can be the role model we wish we had had to inspire the next generation of leaders, and in particular, women.”
Sandrine Ricard, Deputy Director, Pernod Ricard UK
Sandrine is Deputy Director at Pernod Ricard UK, a business that has committed to being a leader in sustainability in the Wine & Spirits industry.
“Women bring new and different perspectives which shape and advance our industry in innovative ways. Now more than ever it’s crucial that everyone, regardless of gender, has a seat at the table to share their perspective when it comes to sustainability. It’s only when all voices are heard that we’ll make truly sustainable progress.”
Lauren Hunter, Loopcycle
Lauren is Commercial Director at Loopcycle, a business that seeks to enable the traceability and recovery of commercial products to extend their useful lives.
“I’ve always believed that if you tell yourself you can, and you believe in your values, you can achieve whatever you choose, as long as you’re willing to put the work in - in your job, as a parent, or even as a rugby player. Whether it’s business, sport, family life; witnessing young women, girls and even some of us mid-30s women who chose something new, try, and choose to take on anything in our own way, it’s very special to witness. I’ve been honoured to know, work with and play rugby with some unbelievably inspirational women.”
“I hope one day my son sees that’s the example I’m trying to lead with, that the road to anything, achievement, success, or even net zero, begins with being willing to try.”
Emily Tradd, Sector Lead at Net Zero Now, said: “It is a great privilege to be working alongside these incredible women, and my equally inspiring colleagues, Bella, Charlotte, Ros and Susan, who are taking leading roles in addressing the climate crisis.
“Women are pushing the climate agenda; from leading climate activism to being at the forefront of business efforts to address climate change and the responses to climate disasters on the ground. And they will be key to achieving net zero. Whilst many – perhaps even a majority of - climate activists and influencers are women, research has shown that women command less than a third of the share of voice in news articles about climate change.
“There is still much work to be done to ensure that women are treated equally – as experts, commentators, and leaders on climate change. The diversity of thought we bring to the table is critical if we’re going to make progress at the scale and pace that the climate emergency demands.”
International Women's Day is recognised globally as a day when the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and the drive toward greater equality for women are. Find out more about International Women’s Day here.