How do we support women to work and be mothers?

“Gender equality in the workplace is key to unlocking significant business growth, and driving positive social and environmental impacts, according to Better Leadership, Better World: Women Leading for the Global Goals

World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

It has been recognised by Harvard Business Review that increasing senior women in the workforce supports innovation and sustainability. In another Harvard Business School article it suggests, if you can’t find a spouse that supports your career, stay single!

It sounds a bit drastic although in reality many busy and ambitious people do this all the time. Men and women. The only thing is what if you do want children? Men rarely can have children without a partner and how do women fit becoming a mum in to life if they are busy or just can’t take 6 months out of work to parent? Men can wait longer but what can women do? And what can workplace policy do to support here?

We think it’s an under discussed topic and in the long run greater knowledge and adoption of more evolved policies can support increasing women in leadership, and help businesses to thrive as more women are able to stay in senior positions.

Here a few examples of leading ladies, some famous ones, that chose the non-traditional route to work and motherhood or to be child free:

  • My neuroscientist friend’s husband is a stay at home Dad/business owner while she works full time outside of the home. One option. She did however have to unfortunately go back to work after only 12 weeks after the birth of her son. US based.
  • A senior Legal Counsel lady in aviation said she needed a nanny, nursery and the support of her husband who had his own business and even moved jobs and country to gain a more favourable maternity package. Another option.

  • Another friend – she looks after her kids one day per week, her husband looks after their kids one day per week and they pay for 3 days childcare, both share the weekend
  • A solo parent friend of mine had the help of her retired mother and nursery and went back to her senior role within 4 months
  • A recent read showed Kim Cattrall at 41 decided not to have children to concentrate on her career and busy filming schedule although she was in a relationship. The term child free is now being used rather than childless.
  • Egg freezing is discussed in this Kathy Burke (UK comedian) documentary All women and has been said to reduce ticking-clock anxiety or hasty mis-partnering. The age bracket for being eligible for egg freezing and IVF can be up to 40/41 in some countries and they can be stored for 10 years. Could workplaces offer loans or support for this option?
  • Italian Vogue’s Chief Editor discusses her choice to not live with the father of her child in this documentary about her work and life. A tough decision she said.
  • Fearne McCann created a show called First Time Mother and talks of solo parenting and providing for her little girl through her own earnings
  • Mum-spiration: a partner of ours is working, taking calls and presenting while being with her new born baby and even feeding off camera. It’s very admirable and possible now with video calling as not everything needs to be in person
  • Naomi Campbell choose to be a mother at age 50 but if you are over 35 you are discussed as disadvantaged.
  • Many examples of women solo parenting with donors are being discussed in friendship circles and online now and it is becoming much more well known. A community/neighbour/family based childcare system or all of these options can help solo parenting be possible. Again some workplaces offer creche or childcare support.
  • Female gay couples can choose a donor and male gay couples have been known to ask a surrogate or adopt which is happening in the UK, America, Norway and other countries globally.
  • Others choosing work from home roles to manage childcare, working around their children being awake and school pick up, which will be a lot more possible now it’s more common place to have a work from home or hybrid policy

There are many new family structures now and many ways to parent.

Of course whether you have money for child care and a good support network is very important and key to women being able to stay in senior positions and have a family.

Companies such as Bumble, who’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, made new HR policies in 2021. Bumble saying they ‘give all of their employees a minimum of six months’ paid leave for the birth, adoption or surrogacy of a child… Victims of domestic violence or other violent crimes will also be able to take at least 20 days of paid leave. Following a miscarriage, employees will be allowed a minimum of 15 days’ paid compassionate leave‘. It is great leadership and will hopefully be replicated by other companies in the following years. Countries like Sweden being a leader on giving equal maternity and paternity leave by law.

Others like bp and Amex are also follow suits now with new policies.

It is not a simple topic. The work/life balance of a parent has always been a point for discussion but as diversity, equity, inclusion and equal pay topics evolve, then so does how we parent and especially for working women.

Does your company support parenting proactively? Do you feel able to keep your role and even progress while having time off for parental leave? At FGA we support our colleagues, freelancers and partners that are parents to maintain flexible, remote working schedules while looking after their kids. And we support those not returning to work to keep intellectually active while being at home with their children. Contact us if you would like to discuss our work further and watch Cinderella 2021 or the Bodyform ad ”Womb Stories”

Eviation – when can we fly electric?

We had a very interesting discussion today with Avinor, who have 44 airports in Norway due to the landscape and geography of the country.

We discussed electric planes or eviation which Norway are likely to be the first to put into service by 2030 say this Business Traveller article discussing Rolls-Royce‘s work in this area.

Norway produces more green electric than they need as a country through hydro power so are likely to be early adopters.

Charging a 50 seater is the equivalent of charing 10 Tesla‘s or as much as the airport uses per year in one charge. A big jump in power needed. The estimate of power consumption for one trip between Stavanger and Bergen is 800 kWh. When the plane is charging it is estimated that between 1500-2500 kW is needed in effect.We’ll need to leap frog the innovation in battery capacity and speed up the production of green electricity through solar, wind and hydro if available. These developments all dependent on policy, incentives, lobbying, sustainable investments and consumer demand.

This does mean SAF will be required as it sits in the suite of measures to decarbonise aviation, and as planes have a 30-40 year lifespan then it’s more unsustainable to take these out of service so wastes, residues and energy crops are definitely on the cards to create sustainable fuel for air travel.

FGA will be part of a masterclass on SAF at the Business Travel Show alongside easyJet and Salesforce on 1st October, in person, at the ExCel in London. We look forward to discussing industry development here.

FGA at Boeing sponsored Coding Summer School

Sarah Wilkin, founder & CEO of Fly Green Alliance has been invited by Boeing to present to students at Coding Summer School alongside Katie Cross of Pledgeball on Tuesday 6th July. Boeing has partnered with ThinkYoung for the last 11 years, where young people between the ages of 11 and 17 learn computer programming. This year’s theme on the environment and sustainability, a topic of crucial importance to Boeing, Fly Green Alliance and Pledgeball.

At the event ThinkYoung will explore digital platforms for the reduction of emissions which is a key remit of FGA and Pledgeball who will team up for this event. FGA are proud to support the next generation of #STEM leaders and are working to increase the number of women in STEM which Katie and Sarah as founders believe is important, not only will it give young women and those of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to expand their horizons and thinking, but hopefully provide examples and potentially encourage students to think about their next careers steps. Katie and Sarah will share how their careers have developed, why they set up their companies and hope to give examples to the class of female leadership, entrepreneurship and startup development.  

Katie and Sarah will present at the week-long event virtually along with a group from 11 different countries including: Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, France, Georgia, Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Netherlands. The class being up of 50% girls and 50% boys.

Katie has set up a Pledgeball event to accompany the presentation, encouraging students to consider, amongst other lifestyle choices, how they generally travel with emission reduction in mind which is in line with FGA’s work where we develop mobility solutions in order to reduce carbon. Both of Pledgeball’s and FGA’s work focuses on behavioural change which they also believe is key to climate strategy.

Sarah has commented, “At FGA one of our streams of work is DEI: diversity, equity and inclusion. There are still very low number of women in STEM and aviation, who at times represent only 20% of the workforce. We work to encourage more women in senior roles, flexible working contracts to support this and believe to make the workforce more balanced in the future it’s important to work with young adults. As someone who studied computing, was 1 of only 2 girls in the class, has campaigned for broadband and been part of the digital transformation, it felt important for FGA to change the perception of women in tech and to discuss the role of digital in climate solutions which the ThinkYoung and Boeing event also advocates for.”

7 steps to a sustainable travel policy

At FGA we are committed to delivering the energy transition in the travel sector. We’re speaking, posting and developing projects and mechanisms in order to get us moving again in a more sustainable way. 

We have created some principle and an action plan for how to begin your green travel journey in this next phase:

  1. Creating an overarching sustainable travel policy to include more rail, electric vehicles, public transport, car sharing, electric scooters, economy over first-class flying, parking for bikes, and provisions for virtual meetings
  2. For global meetings, choosing the best host location, based on the least carbon created and including sustainable travel options
  3. Consistently measure your scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions – particularly scope 3, in which travel sits – to see how you can improve
  4. For unavoidable travel emissions, think about investing in legitimate carbon offsets, such as those provided by Gold Standard
  5. Scrutinise your organisation’s ‘say/do’ gap – i.e. what you say you’re willing to do to work on climate change, and what you’ll actually do – read more 
  6. Keep up to date with the latest news, trends, technology and new ways of thinking around travel by consuming reliable reports and other media
  7. Join a body like the Fly Green Alliance, which aggregates commitments to buying sustainable fuel, fostering partnerships, building green travel programmes, managing offtake agreements and mobility partnerships 

Contact to find out more.

Follow us on Linkedin and Instagram.

Design and Marketing Intern

Are you a recent graduate and looking to develop your design and marketing career in sustainability?

Do you have the following experience and skills?

  • Adobe suite
  • Video editing
  • Social media
  • Design
  • Marketing strategy
  • Content management
  • Research

We are thought leaders in green travel and work towards businesses and the aviation sector flying green. We are working on green travel for COP26 alongside key UK aviation stakeholder and will be presenting our work at SAP Concur’s Industry Travel Summit and the BTN’s Sustainable Business Travel Summit this month.

Do you want to help us to develop our communications and social channels?

FGA Travel Smart/ Fly Green Alliance /FGA on instagram.

We are working with some of the major airlines, manufacturers, fuel companies and sustainability leaders globally and would appreciate the support of a digitally savvy intern interested in innovation, technology and trends who can contribute to our development.

We promote diversity, equity and inclusion and actively support and encourage mental health awareness and programme development.

Contact to speak about the position

How do you turn resistance into flow?

Turn unsubscribe, delete, not a priority, pending, no reply into proactive and productive ways forward.

This article is written from our founders experience from the last 3 years of conversations with all types of sectors.

I’ve discovered it’s time, understanding, respect for each other’s agendas and friendly approaches. 

Our role at FGA is to encourage systems change but that isn’t easy for every organisation.

Sarah Wilkin – founder and CEO

Why is systems change not easy?

From our time meeting senior decision makers in a spectrum of sectors as well as the sustainability champion/managers in the organisations we’ve seen and heard many reasons that the champions feel things are becoming blocked:

  • Culture and attitude of the company/organisation 
  • Senior management buy-in/if there is a sustainability representative on the exec board
  • Cross function politics 
  • It’s not currently imperative for business operations  
  • Requires new unit or work stream to be set up
  • Budget 
  • Not enough staff/resource to manage projects 
  • Too much workload 
  • Diversity
  • Location of HQ 
  • Government regulations 
  • Locked into established supply chains 
  • CFO/legal – if you need new contracts to push forward change, ways of working or suppliers this takes time and may take many meetings to convince the CFO and put the case forward

Are you recognising many or all blockers in this list? 

If you are finding a lot of these are in place and you are the sustainability champion/manager then we advise you to find like minded people, including senior managers, in your organisations and make a group. Stay well read, meet consultants, attend events, stay positive, build a business case and plan for the bigger picture.  Few people enjoy change especially if it is questioning their behaviour or the organisation’s business model or business as usual. Although we need strong drivers in this transition you have to build your support, respect and present at timely opportunities, be well versed and be professional. Represent yourself well and encourage polite conversation. If it becomes unproductive or hostile then take a break. 

The sustainability/energy transition discussion is a social, environmental, economical and equity discussion and it’s not easy. If you feel compelled and driven then stick with it!  

We got you! We post insights, behaviour change and personal development articles on our channels to support you to navigate an extremely complex topic.

Turning football’s attention towards sustainable travel

As more football clubs make commitments around climate action, reducing the impact of how they move players and fans should be top of the agenda

Read more on The Sustainability Report.

Travel can account for up to 90% of the overall carbon footprint of football clubs and organisations. It’s a significant challenge for the professional game, which is reliant on global travel, with players and spectators hopping from city to city (and country to country) to compete and watch.

A handful of clubs are trying to address this through the provision of car sharing and public transit options. Spanish La Liga club, Real Betis, has carried out a survey for employees and fans, shaping their decision to promote sustainable transport through initiatives such as an electric scooter partnership with Lime and through their platform Forever Green will begin the development of a sustainable travel policy.

In the English Premier League, Brighton & Hove Albion is one of many clubs focused on reducing their scope three (third party emissions generated through suppliers or travel) travel footprint by offering free public transport to fans within a designated travel zone.

Fellow Premier League outfit, Arsenal, has established a mobility policy pledging that the club will “endeavour to minimise impacts from travel by reviewing freight and delivery ordering, minimising business travel and encouraging staff to reduce car use by walking, cycling or using public transport”.

Last season’s FA Cup winners also provide cycling provision for staff moving between sites.

At a continental level, UEFA, European football’s governing body, is focusing part of its Football and Social Responsibility work on mobility, particularly at its major events such as its upcoming European Championships in Germany in 2024.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA’s president, has committed to avoiding concepts like the multiple-city European Championships, occurring later this year, in the future, and a concerted effort to organise more ‘carbon-friendly’ fixtures. The organisation gave its support to the European Union’s Green Deal proposal last year, and launched its ‘Cleaner air, better game’ campaign around improving air quality – but the increase in the number of teams competing in the Champions League (from 32 to 36) in 2024 raises concerns that travel, and specifically flying, will become more frequent for the competition.

Reducing flight-related emissions is the most complex piece of the sustainable travel puzzle. There’s no way around tackling this issue head on for football clubs and organisations – particularly those that have made net zero commitments and producing sustainability strategies. There are a few ways in which they can action on this:

– Creating an overarching sustainable travel policy to include more rail, electric vehicle, public transports, car sharing, electric scooters, economy over first class flying, parking for bikes, and virtual meetings provision

– For event organisers, choosing the best host location, based on where fans and staff are likely to travel from and sustainable travel options

– Consistently measure your scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions – particularly scope 3, in which travel sites – to see how you can improve

– For unavoidable travel emissions, think about investing in legitimate carbon offsets, such as those provided by Gold Standard

– Scrutinise your organisation’s ‘say/do’ gap – i.e. what you say you’re willing to do to fight climate change, and what you’ll actually do – more information on this in the following article here

– Keep up to date with the latest news, trends, technology and new ways of thinking around travel by consuming reliable reports and other media

– Join us at Fly Green Alliance, which aggregates commitments to buying sustainable fuel, fostering partnerships, building green travel programmes, and managing offtake agreements.

Travel will always be a part of professional football. But by taking concrete steps towards sustainable mobility, the game can continue to please audiences around the globe with a much-reduced footprint. It only takes a bit of commitment and innovation.

Sarah Wilkin writes as Sustainability Consultant for TACKLE, a UEFA supported initiative, and is founder and CEO of Fly Green Alliance – consultants and experts in green travel, sustainable aviation fuel, and pioneers of the alliance based funding mechanism to support paying for green fuel.  

Read on The Sustainability Report.

FGA Travel Smart: Strategic travel policy development involving scenario building, measurement, reporting, sustainable fuels and partnerships.

FGA in BTN – Sustainability should be front and centre of travel’s recovery

Several years ago airline organisation IATA suggested that annual global passenger numbers would double, to 7.8 billion, by 2036. In 2020, however, international passenger demand fell by 75 per cent and domestic demand by nearly half.

Covid-19 has rocked global aviation and even the most optimistic observers do not expect ‘normal’ levels to return for three to five years. And what of that prediction for 2036? Right now, it’s difficult to envisage that.

The pandemic has changed our attitudes not only to the way in which we do business, but also towards sustainability and, as air travel recovers, suppliers and corporates alike will build back greener.

For businesses this means reducing travel volumes, carbon counting and offsetting our impact. For suppliers it means developing and adopting more efficient technology and innovating like never before.

It’s very much understood that we won’t all be going back to the office in the same way and that remote working and videoconferencing will, on the whole, remain in some form to help reduce costs and support home/work balance.

I’m sure most of us miss travel right now and don’t want overseas holidays and work trips to be a thing of the past. We also miss the connection of face-to-face meetings, so how can we do business, build back better and hit emissions targets in our new world?

Aviation is one of the most difficult industries to decarbonise and reduce emissions. It needs collaboration and partnerships to bring solutions to the table. It is our role at FGA to foster such relationships and also to work with organisations to help them develop sustainable travel policies.

Simple first steps should include:
• Shifting more journeys from air to rail travel where possible
• Considering whether trips are truly essential before they are approved
• Continuing to use videoconferencing even when the world opens up again
• Implement permanent remote working policies and set-ups
• Purchasing sustainable aviation fuel offsets or credits

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are one of a basket of measures approved and agreed upon by ICAO, European member states, IATA and other leading bodies and experts in the sector.

Last year, in fact, SAF producer Neste delivered renewable jet fuel to Zurich Airport during the World Economic Forum in Davos, enabling business jets flying in and out of the airport to blend it with fossil jet fuel, compared with which it has an 80 per cent smaller carbon footprint.

However, from our own research we found only half of travel managers know what sustainable aviation fuels are and, according to our research partner Ipsos Mori, the figure is only 30 per cent among the general public. Clearly there is a need for education on this front.

On a more positive note, we are engaging with increasingly more travel management companies, corporates and their travellers, among whom interest in sustainable travel is rapidly growing. TMCs are committed to providing innovative tools to help clients confront their environmental responsibilities.

We must all play a part in making business travel less harmful to the environment, whether we are a supplier, buyer or intermediary. Our role is to grow awareness, stimulate interest and facilitate conversations and partnerships that facilitate greener travel. We hope you’ll join us on that journey.

Read the full article on the BTN site and online here.