Greentrepreneur: Gowland LLC

At Gowland LLC, we make work work for women. We partner with companies and professional associations to support, attract, and retain female talent. Through speeches, workshops, and resources, we offer women who work the skills and support to thrive in their lives and careers.

What are some of your proudest moments as owner of Gowland LLC?

GowlandHeadshotJust yesterday, a friend of my husband’s who has never been to my workshops or heard me speak posted on my Facebook page “Got what I deserved in pay! Thanks for being my spirit animal!”  While I’ve seen tremendous successes with workshop participants, it’s particularly meaningful to me that this friend found her voice and saw me as part of her process without having worked with me directly. It makes me hopeful that we can expand this work through both direct support to companies and associations and by continuing to provide free resources that focus on a strengths-based approach.

Recently Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire published this piece about my work, “Why You’re Better at Negotiating than You Think You Are”, which perfectly reflects my ethos. That mainstream women’s magazines are prioritizing an empowering message about women in the workplace is wonderfully heartening about the traction we’re getting with this approach.

Finally, I’m proud of our new business model to expand impact.  We’re working with professional associations and businesses that want women to thrive, leading workshops and retreats on things like supporting female managers, avoiding burnout, and workplace negotiations.  Instead of offering direct one-on-one support to individuals — which we loved providing but significantly limited capacity — we’re developing a robust online learning platform set to launch in the fall. Through this approach, more women will be able to access our services, all at a lower cost point.

How does your organization go about improving your social and environmental impacts?

As women, we get countless messages about how we’re doing it wrong. Whatever “it” might be. Whether it’s being told not to say “I’m sorry” or “just”, these are all ways women are told to act like men to be successful in their professional lives.  I think that’s garbage.

Making work work for women isn’t just what I do for money. I also do it because the issues of bias and gender inequality we face aren’t just ours to “fix.” I want systemic change. That said, we have to operate within the system as it exists today while — for those of us who feel compelled — trying to change it. This business is designed to be strengths-based, providing resources and strategies in a collaborative rather than prescriptive environment.

What partnerships have you formed in order to leverage sustainable impact as a company?

We’ve been doing a lot of work with professional associations for women in male dominated industries.  After giving a talk to the American Association for Justice Women’s Caucus in February, we’ve been asked to lead retreats, workshops, and keynotes for other associations for female attorneys across the country. I’m also excited about a budding partnership with women who work in the energy sector.

If you had a magic wand to change one thing that would make it easier for your company or other New Orleans businesses to go green, what would that thing be?

I’d love to see more reliable transit across the south, particularly between New Orleans and Baton Rouge as well as New Orleans and Houston.  While I love racking up my Southwest frequent flyer miles, I hate how large my carbon footprint has grown.

What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state?

When it comes to creating a work environment that’s supportive of women and is more likely to recruit and retain top female talent, I always start with what my business clients are doing well. One way to do this is to ask your team members.  You could start with an anonymous survey to gauge what’s working well and where opportunities are for improvement.

Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?

I so enjoyed the free negotiations workshop we hosted last week at Treo. I look forward to sitting on a LifeCity panel on Women in the Workplace this fall.