The Women in Conservation Leadership Summit is transitioning to a virtual platform October 13-15, 2020.

Out of an abundance of caution amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak around the world, the 3rd Women in Conservation Leadership (WCL) Summit is shifting to a virtual platform.

Registration is now closed.

If you have any questions please contact

The National Wildlife Federation is proud to announce the third Women in Conservation Leadership (WCL) Summit which will take place virtually on October 13-15, 2020.

As part of the shift to a virtual platform we are adjusting the content to center racial equity and justice. The vision for Women in Conservation Leadership is stronger conservation through women leaders of ALL ethnicities, races and cultures. To realize that vision, we must acknowledge that the feminist movement and WCL have been distinctly white.  If WCL is to be successful, we must boldly stand up to the racism that has pervaded this sector, and the world.  Women in Conservation Leadership is committed to centering, supporting and resourcing Black women, while providing allyship education to non-Black women. In this intentional shift, some of the competencies we will build upon at the Summit are:

  • an understanding of structural racism and its centrality in conservation,
  • proven awareness of multiple group identities and power dynamics,
  • direct communication that matches intent and impact, and
  • authentic relationship building across group identities,

Racial equity and justice competencies are inexorably intertwined with effective leadership. This is the first step in a long-term journey. We will not be liberated from the patriarchy or systemic racism in one day or one conference. Women in Conservation Leadership will achieve stronger conservation through equity, justice and leadership for and from all women.  An updated agenda will be shared in the coming weeks.

Women in Conservation Leadership is a diverse, inclusive, national community and a catalyst to elevate and embolden all women in advancing conservation. We believe in building stronger conservation through empowered women of all ethnicities, races and cultures and the 2020 WCL Summit is an opportunity to put these ideas into practice.

The 2020 WCL Summit will include trainings, hands on skill building, networking and resources for all women in conservation – from students to those who have been doing this work for decades, and everyone in between. This year’s theme is Weaving Change: Connecting Women for Action.  Started four years ago by a group of dedicated individuals, WCL has grown to be a dynamic network and community of diverse women who are committed to leading change in conservation. We see the WCL network like a tapestry – made of individual threads. Each thread is unique and intrinsically important. When woven together the threads create a larger tapestry, providing durability, utility and beauty. Through the Summit, we continue to connect women and weave a larger network for change and impact. A draft Summit agenda can be found here.

The general registration fee is $375 attendees and $150 for employees from smaller organizations or individuals who cannot afford to cover the regular fee. Current students are also eligible for the lower fee of $150.

If you are interested in volunteering or getting more involved with the program, please contact WCL co-founder Elizabeth Lillard.

This space is for women, femme/feminine-identifying, genderqueer and non-binary individuals who have historically been excluded from the environmental space.