Happy International Women’s Day everyone! To build a sustainable future for all, we need diverse solutions, technologies and perspectives. At Climate Salad, we are extraordinarily proud of our female founders and their accomplishments. We also value the important role women and girls have to play in building a sustainable future.
The 2023 IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity. This isn’t only about achieving gender equality, but also acknowledging that females are crucial contributors to fostering equitable business, communities, and solutions. Over the next week, our female community will share their climate tech stories, and how we can truly embrace equity by supporting female founders in climate tech. Today, we hear from Allys Todd, Founder and Director of Val.Ai, and how she is empowering the homeowner to reduce emissions.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into climate tech.
"I have a degree in the field of environmental sciences, and over 15 years of experience driving business strategy across not-for-profits, government and industry in conservation, climate action, natural capital, regenerative agriculture and carbon offset.
I most recently held a role in political advocacy for nature, conservation, sustainability and climate action and I found myself increasingly frustrated by the economic and governance systems that were impeding a speedy transition and decarbonisation opportunities.
This led myself and my cofounder to step outside of the safety of our career swim lanes and seek to create new technologies that can enable our economy to take responsibility for our emissions at the scale and pace we need to address our climate commitments."
What excites you most about Climate Tech?
"One element that excites me about climate tech is the potential to transform industries and societies to become more sustainable and resilient. Another aspect of climate tech I have valued is the opportunity for collaboration. Climate tech brings together people from diverse backgrounds to develop innovative solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
Finally, climate tech has provided me with an opportunity as an entrepreneur and innovator to create new businesses and drive economic growth. By developing new technologies and business models, our climate tech startup is creating jobs and opportunities while also contributing to a more sustainable future for all."
How can we better support women in climate tech? If you could change one thing, what would it be?
"You can’t be what you can’t see.
If I could change one thing to better support women in climate tech, it would be to increase representation at the leadership level. Having more women in leadership positions can help to create an environment that is supportive of women and values their contributions. It can also help to challenge gender bias and stereotypes and provide opportunities for women to advance in their careers."
“No one can be a mere passenger on this journey of implementation. We know what must be done… by everybody, everywhere, every single day. Let’s get to work.” (UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell)
What advice would you give to fellow females interested in jumping into climate change solutions?
"Educate yourself: To be effective in climate change solutions, it's important to have a solid understanding of the science, policy, and technology behind the issue. Take advantage of educational resources such as online courses, books, podcasts, and workshops to increase your knowledge.
Find your niche: Climate change solutions require a wide range of skills and expertise, so identify your strengths and interests and find a way to apply them to the field. Whether it's data analysis, engineering, policy, or communication, there is a role for everyone in addressing climate change.
Build a network: Connect with other women in the field and build relationships with mentors and peers who can provide guidance and support. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and seek out opportunities to collaborate with others.
Take action: Climate change is an urgent issue that requires action, so don't be afraid to take the initiative and get involved. Whether it's volunteering, starting a project, or advocating for policy change, every action counts.
Stay optimistic: Climate change can be a daunting and overwhelming issue, but it's important to stay optimistic and motivated. Focus on the positive impact you can make and celebrate small wins along the way. Remember that by working together, we can create a more sustainable and equitable future for all."
Is there a quote on climate change you would like to share?
"I had the pleasure of presenting the Val.Ai technology at the UN Climate Change Conference COP 27 in Egypt in 2022 chosen as a technology capable of delivering societal benefit.
My favourite quote at the UN Summit was from the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell:
“No one can be a mere passenger on this journey of implementation. We know what must be done… by everybody, everywhere, every single day. Let’s get to work.”
Residential homes in Australia account for around 20% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Homeowners have an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Val.Ai addresses this by enabling corporations and consumers to activate their role in the decarbonisation journey using the home as their entry point. Learn more about Val.Ai here."
To further celebrate International Women's Day, Climate Salad have put together some insights about the women fronting our Climate Tech sector, using data from the 2022 Industry Report.
Although there is ambition and progress, there is still much to do, and it’s important for our founders to get involved in the Industry Report. We are currently gathering responses and would love to hear from you if you are an Aussie climate tech founder, click here to complete the 2023 Founders Survey.