island conservation preventing extinctions women's environmental network

Women’s Environmental Network: Collaborating for the Planet

For Women’s History Month, Karen Poiani, CEO of Island Conservation, highlights Women’s Environmental Network, a non-profit organization that supports the advancement of women in environmental careers.

By: Karen Poiani

If you didn’t already know about Women’s Environmental Network, an organization making a difference for women working in the environmental sector, the time has come! Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) is a San Francisco Bay Area based non-profit organization dedicated to creating and empowering a community of women working to protect the environment. I am proud to be a part of WEN’s board of directors, which is made up entirely of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and across generations.

island conservation women's environmental network logo

WEN empowers women to advance to leadership roles in the environmental field by providing networking, career building, and leadership development opportunities. While the number of women in the environmental sector is rising, women continue to face unequal pay and barriers to career advancement. Through its curated events and partnerships, WEN aims to bridge leadership gaps and advance women’s interests. I firmly stand for WEN’s values:

A sustainable balance between people, planet and prosperity; a greater engagement of the community at large on environmental issues; and opportunity for all.

As the CEO of a conservation non-profit, I witness women hard at work to protect the planet on a daily basis; these women are a source of inspiration, and our organization greatly benefits from their expertise and leadership skills.

island conservation women's environmental network fieldwork

Field staff examining a Floreana Snake. Credit: Paula Castaño/Island Conservation

While historically the environmental sector has been male-dominated, a shift toward balance is underway. More and more women are entering the field of conservation and holding leadership positions. Together, the women of WEN are working hard to support and expedite this change. We are tilting the environmental sector toward a new, critically needed composition—where women and men are equally represented as we collaborate to protect the planet.

Learn more about WEN
Featured Photo: Erin Hagen ascends a steep slope and a colleague follows on Alejandro Selkirk Island, Chile. Credit: Christian López/Island Conservation

About Karen Poiani

Karen Poiani, PhD was appointed as Island Conservation’s CEO in July, 2016. Karen came to IC with 25 years of experience in conservation organization management, fundraising, board engagement, international and local partnership development, and conservation science research.

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