Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Become a member
Community Search
The Balancing Act: Career, Motherhood, and Aspirations to Shine
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

This is a Lunch & Learn (i.e. brown-bag) event; please bring your own lunch.

When: Friday, May 31, 2019
12:00 PM
Where: Makovsky Communications
1775 I Street NW
Suite 1150
Washington, District of Columbia  20006
United States
Contact: Paritosh Kasotia

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  

WCEE’s Career Building Section's Lunch & Learn Series

The Balancing Act:

Career, Motherhood, and Aspirations to Shine


Former PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi said it best, “The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you're rising to middle management your kids need you.”

66% of women think pregnancy puts their career at risk. How can women assure that this does not happen? How can organizations and companies position themselves to ensure that any major personal changes in a woman’s life are not perceived as a hindrance to her performance or commitment? Likewise, how can women position themselves that they come out more determined, committed, and stronger than ever? And how can the people surrounding these women support their professional growth?

Hear it from
three empowered women, two of them recently expanded their families with beautiful daughters and a third one has been in the business of balancing career and motherhood for many years. Together, they will impart their experiences and observations, and share their perspectives on how companies and organization as well as your friends and allies can support your professional goals and help you become your best.

Bring your lunch and bring a friend or a colleague and join us in discussing this important topic. People of all genders are invited to attend!


Date: Friday, May 31, 2019
Time: Noon to 1:30 pm
Venue:  Makovsky Communications, 1775 I Street NW, Suite 1150, WDC 20006 (corner of 18th and Eye)
Cost: $5 for WCEE members and $20 for non-WCEE members
Registration: Seating is limited; first-come, first-served. 

This is a Lunch & Learn (i.e. brown-bag) event; please bring your own lunch.


WCEE is grateful to

Makovsky Communications

for use of its conference facilities



Your Panelists:


Alex Hobson, Vice President of Communications, American Council on Renewable Energy

My name is Alex Hobson and in the last year I’ve become the Vice President of Communications for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and also a new mom.

In my day job, I oversee ACORE’s internal and external communications, media relations, digital and social media efforts, and brand management. And in my 24-7 job, I’m a mom to a vibrant, soon-to-be one-year-old, named Chloe.

I’ve worked in renewable energy since 2015. Before joining ACORE, I was the director of external communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association, serving as a spokesperson for the solar industry and managing the organization’s earned media efforts. Prior to that, I was an award-winning television reporter in Florida, covering everything from the latest crime to a presidential election and severe storms.

My newly-adopted motto: Never stop challenging yourself. Personal growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. Also, takeout is a perfectly acceptable dinner option any night of the week.



Pari Kasotia, Mid-Atlantic Director, Vote Solar

My name is Pari Kasotia and I serve as the Chair of the Career Building Section and Women in Leadership at the Women’s Council for Energy and Environment. Coming from primarily a patriarchal society, it is my passion to use my power and privilege to empower women to be their best and to rise in their careers. I have written number of articles on this topic and advised and mentored women younger than me to overcome career obstacles, plan their future, and be bold in their actions.

My second passion is to protect the environment and switch to carbon free energy sources. To meet this passion, I work towards enabling solar friendly policies in the Mid-Atlantic region for Vote Solar. I have held multitude of roles in my 10+ years of career span. I also serve as the Advisory Council Member of the MD Clean Energy Center. I am daring, always with an opinion, and hard-working. These qualities led me to launch my own non-profit organization called Unfolding Energy. I also introduced and taught an upper-level undergraduate course on National Energy Policy at my alma mater, Drake University. I am glad to be recognized for my efforts through the Renewable Energy World’s 40 under 40 solar leaders and Midwest Energy News 40 under 40 Emerging Clean Energy Leaders. Recognitions matter as they validate your hard work, commitment, and dedication to your cause and I am glad that I have been noticed for my efforts. And this would not happen without a very supportive husband and family members.

I spend my free time with my brand new 7-month old baby daughter and work towards creating a clean, green, and sustainable world for her where the discussion of gender inequality is a foreign concept. 


Alice Grabowski, Project Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts

My name is Alice Grabowski and I am Project Director at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where I lead operations for the communications department.  I am also the current Board President of the Women’s Council on Energy and Environment.  Prior to joining Pew, I managed Blue Green Consulting, an independent consulting firm for nonprofits, and directed operations for Nethope, a humanitarian assistance organization.  My experience encompasses both the international and domestic nongovernmental spheres. I coordinated technical assistance contracts at the U.S. Forest Service Office of International Programs and served as the managing director of the DC-based Coalition for Smarter Growth.  I began my career at ISAR: Resources for Environmental Activists, where I led ISAR’s Russia-based programs, fundraising, and strategic planning.  I am a proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Russian Far East) and a graduate of the University of Dayton.  

When I am not managing the details of nonprofit operations, I manage a family of four.  As my two daughters, now 9 and 12, have grown, my definition of work/life "balance" has evolved and continues to evolve.  My goal is not to show them how to have it all, but how to be present in the moment, intentional in choosing priorities, and always ready for a change in plans.  


Your moderator:

Edit photoOlga Khakova, Associate Director for European Energy Security, Atlantic Council

Olga Khakova serves as the vice chair of the Career Building Section and Women in Leadership at the Women’s Council for Energy and Environment. She is an associate director for European energy security at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, where she manages transatlantic energy initiatives. Before joining the Atlantic Council, Olga was a senior program coordinator for US Energy Association’s Energy Technology and Governance Program. She helped start and coordinate the Western Balkans’ Electricity Market Initiative working group, which provides technical expertise on creating better-connected electricity markets.

Olga also worked as a program director for a leading energy non-profit in the Midwest, The Climate + Energy Project (CEP). While at CEP she co-led the conception and development of the Clean Energy Business Council, a network of businesses seeking to capitalize on renewable energy resources in Kansas and the greater Kansas City area through legislative, regulatory, and educational solutions. Olga facilitated state-wide stakeholder engagement on energy issues, such as education and outreach on rate design dockets at the Kansas Corporation Commission. During her time at Bombardier Aerospace, Olga organized events and developed communications strategies in Brazil, Canada, China, and the US for a distinguished human factors safety program called Safety Standdown.

Olga has a business administration degree from Wichita State University and a professional science masters in environmental assessment from the University of Kansas. She is originally from Ukraine.




Sign In


Oil & Gas Sector Pandemic Impact and Response

WCEE Board of Directors June 2020 Meeting