Season 2 | Women in Forestry | Episode 6

#22 | Every great leader has personal integrity and vulnerability

March 22, 2017 | Cassie Phillips

Forester and attorney Cassie Phillips was Vice President at Weyerhaeuser from 2001 to 2016, but she has been an endemic part of the forest policy landscape for much longer. Cassie earned her degree in forestry at the University of Washington in 1976, and in this episode, she discusses how much things have has changed since she was one of the first women to join the male-dominated profession. Cassie also reflects on her lessons in leadership and her experiences in two professions! While Cassie experienced some resistance and other challenges in her career, she also received a lot of support on her way to her new role with the Environmental Law Institute. She points out that while leadership styles vary, one thing remains consistent, which is that every great leader has personal integrity. Find out more about Cassie’s journey and advice today, and share it with others.

Key Takeaways:

[3:05] How did Cassie first get started in forestry?

[4:25] How many women were studying forestry when Cassie went to University of Washington in 1972?

[8:20] What was Cassie’s first leadership position like?

[11:20] Cassie was the first woman in a field management position at the time.

[15:45] Weyerhaeuser focused a lot of their efforts on management training and diversity. In fact, they have a lot more women in leadership positions than other companies in the forestry industry.

[16:45] What has Cassie learned about leadership over the years?

[18:10] Underneath all great leaders are personal integrity and openness.

[19:55] How do you develop a strategy to communicate effectively?

[22:00] Lawyers understand they’re sometimes not liked, but they also understand how valuable they are in society. The same applies to foresters who may not always be liked but need to know how valuable they are.

[23:00] Why did Cassie go from forestry to law?

[26:55] In forestry, you have to create a welcoming environment for all types of diverse people.

[32:35] How can foresters advance in their career?

[38:15] What other challenges has Cassie had to face throughout her career?

[47:40] Remember to make friends before you need them.

[50:00] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Cassie on LinkedIn
What Works: Gender Equality by Design, by Iris Bohnet
Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, By Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
Power: Why Some People Have It — and Others Don’t, by Jeffrey Pfeffer


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.