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.
Gainesville, FL USA
What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.
I'm the founding director of Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival and Channel, which I developed as a way to broaden the reach of environmental education in 2010. I worked as an environmental journalist and author since 1992, which is how I learned how vitally important it is for us to wake up and address these concerns with sustainable solutions.
What’s the best part of your job? What do you enjoy the most?
I get so excited when I'm reviewing our film submissions and I find so many wonderful films from around the world covering so many different aspects of our environment and highlighting what we need to do to ensure everyone's safe, healthy future.
We’ve all faced personal and professional challenges these past two years - what motivates you to keep going?
While it seems most people lament the effects of the pandemic, and of course we all mourn the great loss of life and devastating illnesses, I think we have also been presented with an exciting opportunity to make the dramatic changes that we need to reset our civilization on a path to sustainability - something that seemed nearly impossible before now has true momentum... We have learned that we don't necessarily need to travel in droves each day to our offices, reducing our work time and many expenses associated with office buildings, transportation, wardrobes, childcare, etc. and in the process we've gained time for ourselves so that not so much of our lives are given over to work.. we might have more time to be with our families and explore our creativity - which of course leads to intelligent solutions to the very serious problems we face with our environment. In my line of work - trying to help create a sustainable future - this is a bonus we never expected. I hope we can truly take advantage of this opportunity rather than rush to revert to our old ways.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My father was a self-made business success and he collected and dispensed bits of wisdom to his staff and his children. His rhymes and cliches echo in my head still... things like: 'Do the job right the first time so you don't have to go back and do it again," but also: "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again."
What does generosity mean to you?
I am constantly astounded by the generosity of so many volunteers and supporters of Cinema Verde who have given so very generously of their time and talents to help create Cinema Verde. I've learned that we are all motivated to help forge a positive, sustainable future and working together is the only way to get there - I made a little slogan: Cooperation Trumps Competition.
How do you feel businesses can play a larger role in solving today’s biggest challenges? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?
Businesses are the key to our solution for a healthy sustainable future. Owners and shareholders must step up with integrity to make the changes we need to move forward with renewable energy and reduced chemical contamination. Many businesses are already leading the way, such as investment companies like Green Century, which offers investment funds that only invest in clean energy and green product manufacturers. This sort of shareholder pressure, along with consumers choosing to buy cleaner products, will help business leaders shape our future with green initiatives.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?
Mom. Of course I love my work and everything about it but the most important job I've ever had has been to raise my children - children are our future and it is so very important to carefully nurture their brilliance so they can use all of their potential intelligence and creativity to help shape our sustainable future. It is now known how important it is to protect children from harm and trauma - their developing brains are fundamentally affected by all of their experiences - they grow in good circumstances and they are stunted and saddled with health problems and even lower intelligence when exposed to violence, neglect and environmental contamination. Our children will help move the world forward for all of us.
If you could pick a song to guide you through 2022, which song would it be?
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar, Helen Reddy.
What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?
I would like for Cinema Verde to reach the world with environmental education through our films and news so we can help create a sustainable future.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am excited to see more and more women stepping up to the plate to help us build a better future. As a woman, and as a mother, I feel very strongly that we will guide our future away from destructive practices... We don't want to send our children to war, we don't want to hurt our friends and colleagues, we don't want to poison our air, water, soil and selves with petrochemicals. I believe we as women can see that there are many more important things than profit above all. I'm excited to see Chicks in Charge! Let's Go, GIRLS!