Helping female change makers access a powerful peer community

Now is the time for women’s voices to be fully heard.

For how we think and behave is EXACTLY the diversity of leadership and talent that will help lead the world away from crisis and into balance.

Women want to be heard. They want to lead. But this can feel exhausting, overwhelming and lonely, especially when you’re in the minority and tackling complicated problems.

Women in Sustainability are here to help enable women, who share a common vision for the future, to connect with each other, to grow their capacity, energy and leadership, to ‘be’ the change they want to see.

“WINS events provide a fantastic opportunity to make connections with like-minded women, to be inspired and to learn with and from each other” Jane Coles, Strategic Development Team Manager, Forestry Commission

Our beginnings

We started in Bristol, curious to see whether any of the women working on climate change and sustainability issues felt there was value in coming together to share and learn together.

When 80 female change makers turned up, we didn’t have enough coffee or biscuits and our founder, Rhian Sherrington, discovered how powerful creating a supportive and trusting environment can be to women wanting to change the world.

Rhian started to run coaching led events in Bristol and London, and word spread that here was a different way to connect and learn with other values-led women. The WINS Oxford Hub, led by Thalia Carr, got going in 2018 and the Women in Sustainability Network was born.

Since then, inspired by Thalia and the success of the WINS Bristol Hub, more coaches and sustainability professionals stepped forward to create local ‘WINS Hubs’ in their localities. In addition to Bristol and Oxford, Women in Sustainability Network Hubs are now established across the UK in London, Newcastle, Stoke on Trent & Staffs, St Albans, Hertfordshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. We are also in Germany – WINS Frankfurt  – and in U.S.A – WINS New York City.

With the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in 2020, most of our WINS Hubs shifted their activities online but will return to offering some in person events as and when it is safe to do so.

In response to requests for more opportunities to connect with others where no Hubs yet exist, and to access peer to peer mentoring, as well as coaching, the WINS Digital Community membership launched in March 2020.

This is open to ‘WINS’ business owners, women looking to transition into sustainability, as well as professionals, at all stages of their careers. Full details can be found here. 

 

It’s great to have the space to listen to women talk about being passionate and driven. It has inspired me to tap into those passions’ Mathilde Braddock

How our Network Hubs work

Creating a financially viable and sustainable business base to the network has always been essential to Rhian’s vision of a global learning community of women. We are very grateful to all our host organisations and sponsors who support the network. This enables us to keep ticket prices down and often introduces inspirational women, with fascinating career stories to share, to the network.

Organising networking and learning opportunities requires considerable time and effort for those involved, which is why Women in Sustainability Network Hubs run ticketed events and operate under a licence business basis. This ensures those leading the Network Hubs can be sufficiently rewarded for the expertise and skill they bring to facilitating a local Women in Sustainability Hub.

We are delighted to be growing a team of talented women who share our vision and values and who want to bring their coaching / facilitation / training skills to the network. Find out who they are here. 

If you’re interested in joining them, do get in touch to find out how.

“WINS has gathered together women with a wealth of stories who also have a refreshingly open, honest and supportive approach”. Emma Peddie, Sustainable Production Adviser, BBC

Founder

Rhian Sherrington’s love of the natural world probably began through building dens up on the common and in the woods near her home aged 7. Cajoling her parents to recycle aged 8 initiated the environmentalist inside, which led to reading Geography at Oxford University and an MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Stirling. Whilst the latter didn’t lead to the anticipated consultancy career, it did start her on a path where caring for the planet has been at the heart of her career choices.

This has included teaching field studies on the Isle of Arran, running a conservation expeditions company for young people (building on her earlier experience of similar expeditions to Pakistan and Greenland), leading behaviour change programmes in schools, workplaces and communities across the UK, and two years advising Government on sustainable school travel.

Rhian has always been fascinated by what enables people to make choices that boost their well-being and benefit the planet. This ultimately led her to retrain as an Executive & Career Coach in 2012. She now specialises in helping women create impactful careers that fulfils their purpose alongside a balanced, soulful life.

She is the author of two books, award-winning ‘Alchemy for the Mind: Create Your Confident Core’, and Amazon No.1 best-seller  ‘Choose to Flourish: How to Change Career and Thrive in Life’.  An international speaker, Rhian enjoys sharing the insights and learning gained from enabling women to flourish in their environmental careers.