This March, in honor of Women’s History Month, the Greentown Labs team was proud to highlight many of the rockstar women+ in our community. These entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and other climate champions are building the solutions that will create a sustainable future for all.
Women+ have been integral to climate science and solutions from the very start. In January, the Greentown team read All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson, for our monthly book club. This collection showcases insights from women at the forefront of the climate movement across professions, backgrounds, and geographies, and begins with a spotlight on a woman who certainly deserves celebrating: Eunice Newton Foote.
Foote was a scientist, inventor, and women’s rights activist in the 1850s. As the first woman in climate science, she theorized that the Earth’s temperature could be affected by CO2 changes in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, Foote rarely gets the credit and respect she deserves, as her revolutionary research was overshadowed by a man’s similar research a few years later, according to All We Can Save. Foote’s story serves as a reminder to our community that women+ have always been integral to climate science and solutions, and that it’s up to all of us to amplify voices of all perspectives for the future of our planet.
As we honor the stories of those in history—such as Foote—who have paved the way for climate science, we’re excited to also celebrate the current and future women+ innovators and change-makers in climatetech! We asked our Greentown for Women+ in Climatetech community for wise words and advice they’ve picked up throughout their journeys. Here’s what they shared:
Founder and CEO of COI Energy Services, Inc.
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Narrowly focus on bringing a product/service to market that delights your prospective customers. Don’t waste time on anything else.”
A woman who inspires her: “My grandmother…she had always gone above and beyond to help others.”
CEO and Co-Founder of Varea Energy
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Remember your why.”
A woman who inspires her: Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist challenging world leaders to take climate action—at the ripe old age of 18.
CEO of Via Separations
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Speak up. You have a unique perspective on the world and your voice should be heard.”
A woman who inspires her: Her sister, Neha Burke, bioprocess segment director at Corning Life Sciences.
Founder and CEO of Ennuity Holdings
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Your inner monologue can be your worst enemy, or your best friend—it depends on how you train that voice over time. The same techniques you use to build up and support other people, teammates, and mentees, you can use to build up your inner voice. Be gentle with your self-critiques, and look for opportunities to be grateful to yourself. Leadership can be lonely and you want that inner monologue working for you, not against you.”
A woman who inspires her: “Right now, I’m awed by Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble and the youngest woman to take a company public.”
Houston Launch Director at Greentown Labs
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Have the audacity to hope and lean into the messy because that is where the growth is.”
A woman who inspires her: Trish Costello, Founder and CEO of Portfolia, the women-centered venture investment platform.
Materials Engineer II at Form Energy
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Talk to everyone; valuable insights come from surprising places.”
A woman who inspires her: Chastity Bowick, co-founder of the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts.
CEO and Founder of ALLY Energy
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Know your worth, then add tax.”
A woman who inspires her: “I’m inspired by Claire Broido Johnson. She was the co-founder of SunEdison and I’m so thrilled she’s invested in ALLY.”
Senior Research Associate at Kula Bio
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “I know it’s cliche, but believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you want and more—you deserve it.”
A woman who inspires her: Octavia Butler, American science fiction author.
CTO and Co-Founder of Sol Clarity
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “If success came over night, then it’ll leave the next morning. Stay inspired and have patience.”
A woman who inspires her: Alice Nichols, executive facilitator for startup entrepreneurs.
Engineering Practice Leader at Next Rung Technology
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Work hard and pay attention to the details so you know ‘your stuff,’ and don’t be afraid to admit if you don’t know something and follow up later or ask questions.”
A woman who inspires her: “I find it inspiring and exciting to see increasing numbers of women in technical and leadership roles within the Greentown community, although there could still be more!”
CEO of Greentown Labs
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “Always seek to understand the broader context—the why—of every challenging situation you find yourself in. There is always more nuance and complexity than you realize at a first glance. Mutual understanding creates the common ground that makes forward progress possible in business—and in life.”
A woman who inspires her: “There are many. If I had to pick one, it would be my mother, Linda Reichert. She inspires me every day with her ability to balance joy with pain; deep caring for others with an unbounded restless energy; and an unerring moral compass with compassion and forgiveness.”
Chief of Staff at Greentown Labs
Her advice for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs: “In my lifetime, I have learned two very important rules: always say yes to rare opportunities and follow your gut. Change is scary, but more importantly it will help you grow and shape the person you can be.”
A woman who inspires her: “Tara Westover, the author of Educated. Educated is a story about a woman who grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho who didn’t believe in traditional education. She managed to educate herself enough to get into college and ultimately receive her Ph.D. from Cambridge University.”