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Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way. 


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Lis Best

Executive Coach and Founder, Girls Club Collective

Oakland, CA, USA


What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.


I am an executive coach for women in sustainability and social impact, founder of the Girls Club Collective, the intentionally intimate community for change agents, and host of the Women Changing the World podcast.


This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity." What does this mean to you? How can we build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive?


I love this year's theme because it's about giving people what they need to achieve equitable outcomes - not simply giving everyone the same access to opportunity. It recognizes that we are not born onto an equal playing field, and that if we want a different future than our present reality, we need to allocate resources differently to get there.

To build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive, we need to create mechanisms that actually help women and minorities advance to positions of power - and stay there. That means going well beyond creating one seat at the table. It can also mean, in many cases, giving employees access to spaces with totally new tables and resources to help them lead and thrive.


Do you have any mentors or role models who have helped you on your personal journey?


Yes! I have too many mentors and role models to count. One person who has been especially influential on my journey is Molly Gavin - I reported to her for six years when I was just getting started in my sustainability career, and I learned so much from her! Truly, she taught me so many things, from how to write a great email to how to effectively run a meeting and enable cross-functional collaboration. Not only that, but she really inspired me to imagine and embody a different kind of leadership than I had been exposed to before - leadership defined by authentic relationships, strategic thinking, and fun.


What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?


One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received is that you get more information through action than through endless strategizing, so be willing to take messy, imperfect action and learn from it vs. trying to have the perfect game plan with all the details figured out before you begin.


The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?


The women I have the privilege of working with keep me motivated and inspire me to stay optimistic! There are so many brilliant, talented change agents working so hard (and smart!) on so many of the different challenges facing the planet and humanity. I feel like there's nothing they (we!) can't do, and whenever I'm feeling down about whether we're making progress fast enough, I take a look around and am reminded that a) it's going to take all of us, and b) it's a marathon, not a sprint.


Pledge 1% helps companies of all sizes and stages leverage their assets for social good. Why do you think it's important that companies prioritize social impact? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?


It's important for companies to prioritize social impact because business can be such a force for good. After spending many years working on impact with massive companies and organizations, it has been interesting to explore the different ways to apply an impact lens to my own small business.

Pledge 1% offers such a useful framework for thinking about how to bake impact in from the very beginning in a way that makes sense. For me, that has looked like giving 1% of my time through pro bono coaching with the Women's Impact Alliance and donating 1% of revenue to support women's access to reproductive healthcare.

There are a lot of ways that we can create the future we want to see through our businesses, like being thoughtful about who we hire, how we pay people, and what we buy. Pledge 1% offers an additional opportunity to commit core business resources - in our case, time and money - to creating a more just and sustainable world.


If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?


My favorite word to describe myself is moxie. It's a great word, and it captures a lot of the energy and magic behind my coaching, consulting, speaking, and approach to life.


Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?


Too many to count! Some of the most helpful tech tools in my day-to-day are Calendly, Honeybook,, Voxer, and Circle. I also love the Chani astrology app for insights and meditation.


What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?


This year, I am most excited about the official launch and expansion of the Girls Club Collective, the intentionally intimate personal and professional development community for women changing the world. This is something I've been thinking about and building for more than a year, and it's so exciting to officially open to the doors to such an amazing group of women! I'm really looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time and to being able to spend more of my time focusing on connection and community.