The field of the environment and sustainability brings together numerous professions and roles, including engineering and environmental technologies (in areas such as water, waste, energy and land), academic research, consulting, law, education and training, communications, art…and more.
Many intelligent, talented and experienced women professionals work in environmental matters, dedicating themselves to doing good for humankind. Yet, in professional congresses, the media and decision-making, the proportion and impact of women does not reflect their numbers in the general population. The Women in the Environment Forum resulted from an independent, local, grassroots initiative to create a platform for women involved in various aspects of environmental quality, to empower them and make sure that their voices are heard. The forum provides a stage for publishing professional articles, consultation, learning about complementary environmental subjects, cooperation, referral to information, tenders and publications connected to the field — and to every organizational framework that promotes the issues of women involved in the environment and sustainability. The group’s members hold regular gatherings, workshops and events.
The forum came into being as part of a global trend among grassroots organizations striving for equal representation of women in various professional fields. One example of an organization very active in Israel is Supersonas – an intercontinental social initiative with a business model that promotes the equal, balanced presence of women at junctions of influence and decision-making. Since its establishment in Israel two years ago, it has grown quickly and now involves thousands of women. It enables women involved in the fields of environment and sustainability to ‘brand’ themselves and highlight their activities in the field.
Another quite recent initiative is WOW – Women of Waste, established under the umbrella of the global waste organization (ISWA) to promote women’s activities and achievements in the field of waste. One of WOW’s founders is a senior Israeli engineer who is also a member of the Women in the Environment Forum.
The forum’s latest gathering was hosted at the Beautiful Israel center. It was our pleasure to meet these leading female professionals and to introduce them to the substance and work of the Council for a Beautiful Israel as well as the center’s content-based activities in the environment and sustainability. Also enriching the encounter were Dr. Sharon Mark from Achva College, who reviewed her latest research on environmental quality and ultra-Orthodox Jewish society, and Attorney Galit Ofer from the Shibolet law firm, who provided a glimpse of her fascinating work in renewable energy and cleantech, as well as some interesting start-ups in these fields.