After the success of the She is Sustainable: London event held in Febuary 2016, we ran another event for women working in sustainability in North West England, held over two days on 19-20th July at Lancaster University.

What should attendees expect?

We kicked things off with a discussion of women’s experiences, styles and approaches to work, and a chance for everyone to meet each other. The afternoon continued with discussions on topics chosen by participants, then we headed to dinner at a local restaurant, where Paula Helena de Oliveira talked to us to us about her life and work.

On Wednesday we delved little deeper, talking about how women balance their work and lives: with or without children; in the city or the countryside. We considered the pros and cons of full-time, part-time or freelance work; and talked through the dilemmas and opportunities that each of us encounter in our walks of life.

Attendees had the chance to hear women’s stories, share their own and  take part in discussion sessions on all aspects of women’s work and life. We had insights and personal stories from:

  • Laura Babbs, Sustainability Manager at Asda
  • Caroline Gatrell, Professor at Lancaster University conducting research on health, work and family, drawing upon notions of the body and gender
  • Caz Graham, Radio Reporter for, amongst other stations, BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and Food Programme
  • Hazel Graham, Charity Manager of Cumbria Action for Sustainability
  • Paula Helena de Oliveira, formerly Executive Director of Interbrand.  Paula is now Executive Director of BrandCap and increasingly focused on sustainability issues.
  • Judi Marshall, Professor Emerita at Lancaster University involved in activities related to change for sustainability
  • Anne Selby, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire Manchester and Merseyside
  • Kate Rawles, Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Studies at University of Cumbria and author of ‘The Carbon Cycle’
  • Penny Walker, Independent Consultant, Facilitator, Trainer and Coach on sustainable development
  • Pam Warhurst, Founder and Chair of voluntary gardening initiative Incredible Edible
  • Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business
  • Becky Willis, Independent Researcher

Over thirty women came along,  from within within and beyond the sustainability sector, aiming to make a difference, figuring out life plans, and wanting to talk about these things openly and honestly with others.

Who’s behind this?

  • Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business
  • Becky Willis has run a think tank, advised government and worked on many aspects of environmental policy from tax to community energy. Now, she works on Green Alliance’s political programme, researches at Lancaster University and has a long-term project to civilise her two sons.
  • Jess Phoenix  has worked in environmental consultancy specialising in hydrology and set up environmental stewardship schemes for farms in Lincolnshire. She now undertakes research at Lancaster University on bovine tuberculosis, and spends most weekends either on her bike in the Forest of Bowland or hiking in the Lake District.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact