BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 03 Apr '18

WEN interviews Vicki Hird for a series celebrating ambitious female leaders in the green industry

Women need to be awarded the recognition they deserve in order to change outdated perceptions in the energy sector and beyond. To this end, WEN has launched a ‘#WomenWeSalute2018’ series to celebrate the wonderfully inspirational women in the green industries.

Interviews so far include Ruth Rogers, founder of The Canvas Café community hub, and Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. All the women featured in the series are taking both their and future generations’ futures into their own hands, working with resilience and diligence to transform it for the better.

Vicki Hird

Women we salute

This week WEN has spoken to Vicki Hird, an award-winning author, expert, strategist and senior manager.

Vicki has been working on environment, food and farming issues for over 25 years.

As part-time sustainable farm campaign coordinator at Sustain, Vicki manages the farm policy and related campaigning and provides comment and guidance on these issues.

Having launched many major local and global food and environment campaigns, and published numerous reports and articles on the sustainability of food systems, Vicki’s passion for the sector and its sustainability is clear. This, combined with her dedication and experience, has enabled her to also run an independent consultancy undertaking campaigning and research.

WEN’s Vicki Hird interview

What do you envisage to be the biggest environmental challenge of 2018?

Amongst all the morass of Brexit politics, debates and rhetoric we will have a new food regulatory and support system emerging with new laws to protect the land and natural resource on which food production depends.

The huge challenges will be to not only make certain the public can and do engage in the process but also to ensure government is listening to them and to experts so they make the big shifts in policy and finance needed to protect public health, environment and wildlife whilst ensuring decent lives for farmers and workers in the food system.

What is your top piece of advice for young female entrepreneurs in the green industries?

My advice would be to try, once a month, to shake off your normal strategy/tactic or how you talk/write to those you want to influence. Try a new tactic or style of communication (for instance one you’ve admired) and see if it gives you a better response.

And if it doesn’t work ask yourself, your target or critical friends what may have been done differently. I know I stick too much to my usual way of working… When I shift the results are often surprising. And avoid fact/data heavy stuff!

Finally, which woman, friend, family or famous, has inspired you most?

I am surrounded by amazing women in my work and family so it’s too hard to choose one. So I’m choosing a ‘famous’ person which is Lucy Siegel the broadcaster and journalists who constantly challenges business as usual when it hinders greener, fairer, healthier consumption, lives and livelihoods. She does not let things lie or allow shallow greenwash to go unexposed. She also makes going environmental and fair both accessible and fun and that is quite an art!