“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” – Maya Angelou
Many women have been making marvelous changes around the world, changes that one would never have thought were made possible by individuals who came from very humble beginnings. Today, the achievements are coming out, one after another.
Last November 7, 2017, Virge Temme, an architect from Door County, was recognized by Green Building & Design magazine and the U.S. Green Building Council with a Women in Sustainability Leadership Award.
She always felt that she was alone in the vision she had for a more sustainable tomorrow. After finally being heard, she felt relieved, even confident, that she can better realize such vision. She now has the security that there are people who have her back. And that, to her, was a true winning moment.
“My personal takeaway was that I feel I have comrades in arms now,” she said. “I always felt kind of isolated, being the only one in the area that does this. I didn’t have a wide network to talk to, and now I feel that I do.”
It’s quite encouraging that awards such as this are being created to honor the accomplishments of women who are making long-term change. With it, identifying and connecting with fellow powerful and leading women in sustainability becomes easier.
WSLA commends and supports these top-level female sustainability executives so that in turn, they will be inspired to further the cause by supporting the ideas of the next generation of young women in green.
Virge Temme, as a direct example, has recently diversified her architectural practice into a design-build firm where they train contractors in the construction of high-performance buildings. As an effect, opportunities for other women to enter the field of construction are opened.
She is also currently developing a construction education program for young girls. This is not only for the purpose of opening doors and breaking standards per se. By passing her knowledge and values to young girls, she is creating a legacy in the area of sustainability.