“In order to be a leader, you first need to lift up your team.”
Inspiration for Work
Jessica Sotelo, of World Wildlife Fund, has combined her love for the natural world with her interest in nonprofit work. Growing up, her mom lead programs at a national organization focused on the transition of school to work while her dad was the head of policy at the National Park Service. When it came time to choose a career, Jessica wanted the best of both worlds. She chose World Wildlife Fund so that she could intersect her passion for the environment with her interest in nonprofit impact. Today, Jessica oversees online marketing in the U.S. to help support World Wildlife Fund’s conservation efforts.
Jessica felt the online space was a good area to grow into because the world was continuously becoming more and more plugged in. Since starting at World Wildlife Fund in 2006, she’s grown along with the membership and marketing department, and now manages a team of six. In her role, she is always open to learning new approaches for building connections and securing fundraising online.
Insights from the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit
After talking about values at the 2018 National Wildlife Federation Women in Conservation Leadership Summit, Jessica brought the conversation back to her own division. At World Wildlife Fund, Jessica collaborated with her colleague who also attended the Summit to facilitate a group dialogue about shared and differing values. Her goal was to create a culture that held everyone accountable for their beliefs. With so much of the marketing team’s work revolving around numbers, Jessica wanted to remind her coworkers that emotional intelligence is crucial too.
Advice to Other Women in Conservation
Jessica stresses the importance of taking time to acknowledge everyone’s opinions. Further, she encourages women, as well as men, to understand the role that each person plays in their everyday work and the goals they are working to accomplish. She believes that we should help those around us be successful. In her career, she has found that “in order to be a leader, you first need to lift up your team.”