Celebrating the role of women in conservation – International Women’s Day 2018

Today is International Women’s Day (2018) and we felt it timely to celebrate the increasingly important role played by women in the conservation sector. Over the past five years we’ve spoken to over 100 professional female conservationists from recent graduates right up to the top of some of the biggest conservation organisations on the planet. Here’s just a few highlights from us.

Julia Marton LefevreJulia Marton-Lefèvre: Making things happen

Julia Marton-Lefèvre was the Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest conservation membership organization, which brings together states, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, scientists and experts in a unique worldwide partnership. She is the longest serving Director General, and has led the organization for over 7 years. Julia shares with us what she thinks of her job at the helm of IUCN as well as some tips for those looking to start a career in conservation. Women, take a look at her advice for aspiring female leaders! 

What advice would you give to women who aspire to be leaders in this sector, and have to balance family life?

Just do it! And stop thinking about how few women there are out there, by being there, being positive and having your voice heard – not aggressive because men have to get used to us! But don’t act like you have a chip on your shoulder like we are in a minority, because we are! Just get on with it, do a good job. And by showing you are doing a good job, there will be more and more women who will have the courage to join and will be invited to join.

Read her story here.


Watching seals on St Kilda’s beach in New Zealand. Credit: Pippa Howard/FFI.Biodiversity conservation gets a business edge

Mining and energy operations have some of the most transformative impacts on the planet, with the power to strip landscapes, alter ecosystems and forever change societiesIn this interview, Fauna & Flora International’s Business & Biodiversity Director, Pippa Howard, explains how working with business cancreate large-scale conservation benefits and how to join this emerging field.

Read her story here.


Setting up your own project – lessons learnt from the Madagascar Whale Shark Project

Stella Diamant initially wanted to be a vet until she realised that killing lab mice and being indoors weren’t for her. A trip to Madagascar as part of WWF’s Young Volunteer Programme combined with a passion for marine megafauna seeded a love for the country, its people and wildlife which led her to set up the Madagascar Whale Shark Project a few years later. Here she shares her journey, advice and encourages more early-career conservationists that you can set up your own project!

Read her story here.


Nikita Shiel-Rolle – creating change one wave at a time!

Nikita Shiel-Rolle is the founder and Director of the Young Marine Explorers in The Bahamas. She completed her Undergraduate degree at University of Miami and is currently working on a Masters of Science at the University of Edinburgh. Her she tell us about her conservation career so far…

Read her story here.


Keeping a watch on Norfolk’s Wildlife with Lizzie Bruce

From an early age Lizzie Bruce has always loved being outdoors enjoying the Great British countryside. Today she is West Norfolk Assistant Warden for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and she shares her conservation career secrets…

Read her story here.



Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.35.07 PMNational Geographic Project Manager – Julie Brown

Conservation is a broad field with many career opportunities that fall under the conservation umbrella. One of the biggest challenges is following your path to discover your niche. Julie Brown spoke candidly with me about her non-linear path to her current role in conservation education. I, as a Conservation Career blogger, was extremely inspired by her words and enthusiasm for growth.

Julie Brown is currently a Project Manager for the Education Department at National Geographic. Brown was hired first as an Ocean Education Specialist for National Geographic, tasked to create online ocean education materials for teachers, informal educators and kids. As a Project Manager, Brown now oversees education projects from inception to completion ranging in subjects from environmental science, social studies, engineering and more. On her desk she manages anywhere from four to ten projects at a time, working with partners such as the Jane Goodall Institute, instructional designers, writers, and scientists to see the project to successful completion.

Read her story here.


Mastering Conservation with Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland

E.J. was course leader for the Masters in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. With so many of the top conservationists around the globe graduating through the course, we’re delighted to be able to share her insights with you.

What advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?

To get into academia, getting a strong publication record is sadly what people look for. If you’re a Masters student, then show you have the persistence and organisational ability to publish your thesis. That’s important.

Read her story here.


A career helping whales and dolphins with Catarina Fonseca

Catarina Fonseca is the Researcher and Volunteer Coordinator for AIMM – Associação para Investigação do Meio Marinho / Marine Environment Research Association – in Portugal. Here she tells Conservation Careers her watery story…

What advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?

Persevere and don’t give up. It is a hard discipline to start out and establish yourself in, because there are a lot of people trying to get into marine mammal research and conservation, but it is possible.

I find you need to be in the right place at the right time so there is a bit of luck involved but it’s mainly hard work. You need to look for opportunities and don’t be afraid to approach people and take chances. It’s scary sometimes to go somewhere you don’t know to do things you’ve never done before but you’ll learn new skills and make contacts that sooner or later will be very valuable.

Also try to keep in the loop of what is happening. Go to conferences and seminars to know what work is being done, where and by whom. It’s usually not as scary as it seems and is very useful.

Read her story here.


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