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Portland September Meeting: Why Women are Green Leaders

TOPIC: Why are women leaders in the environmental movement?


We did introductions and then had lively banter about concepts and ideas from the book Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design by Kira Gould and Lance Hosey. We discussed and shared insights about being women and how that influences our thoughts, problem-solving approach and perspective on the environment.


The main themes we discussed from the book were: Right Brain vs Left Brain, Approaches to Problem Solving, and the Nature of Women. Here are the details:

  • Right Brain vs. Left Brain – Each of us had stories demonstrating how men think in a more linear, logical, left brain way; whereas women approach things more holistically and include emotion, memory, experience and consequences to their thought process. Quotes from the book supported these findings and offered some insights beyond our shared experiences.
  • Approaches to Problem Solving – Similarly, we shared stories about differences among genders and how we get to a solution. We referenced passages from the book as well as real life tales of men not considering the same kinds of criteria in a problem that women often include. We discussed how our self-confidence can hinder or accentuate our problem solving abilities. Specifically sharing tales about having confidence to know you can tackle a problem and needing that to be able to jump in vs. how men sometimes jump in first and try to figure out if they have the tools to solve it as an afterthought.
  • Nature of Women – Again, we discussed sections of the book that highlight how women are caregivers, nurturing people and how that approach is required to heal the damage we have created. We talked about the sphere of the earth and the womb and our curvy, encompassing features. Our chat supported assertions in the book about motherhood and the holistic approach required to raise a child (physical, mental, emotional needs of children all being tended to simultaneously)

We ended with some concluding statements about what we got out of the discussion and meeting each other and the benefits we are building with the SOSTANE network. We talked about leveraging femininity and all of its attributes as an asset/competitive advantage, not just a consideration. Like all the rest of the tools we bring to our careers, we also bring our feminine superpower to think and approach things in our unique way. :)


Keely (facilitator), Carol (meetup member) and Lia (meetup member)

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