Are we witnessing more ‘women in energy’ coming into to this industry? Is there a tipping point of change happening?
This week I caught up with Hayley Monks, the co-founder of ‘Women’s Utilities Network at WUN’, and we shared our views regarding women in our industry. I have been researching this in more depth since our conversation and I believe that although there is a high percentage of women within the industry, they are not necessarily within the senior roles. I believe that this is where the myth comes from, as although there has been, and there is, a far spread of women across the sector, they just do not hold senior positions.
Times are changing though and in Hayley’s own words, “You don’t ask, you don’t get”.
“You don’t ask, you don’t get”
Inspiring women across the world in ‘utilities’
The utilities sector is lacking in diversity with many women being generally under-represented, particularly in senior roles. The EU Skills strategy, published in October 2019 highlights this with only 17% of roles being occupied by women (https://www.euskills.co.uk/the-sectors-inclusion-commitment/)
This won’t change, if we don’t do something about it and at WUN we are passionate about building a community of women who can connect, support, develop and encourage one another – Hazel Monks
I personally have been networking across the world lately utilising ‘BNI’ and LinkedIn and I have networked with some amazing energy, sustainability and compassionate individuals.
I can confirm that the percentage of men to women is balanced, but what is even more interesting is that I’m seeing a greater percentage of women that appear to be more academically qualified.
The PHD level of individuals across the world, both men and women in the industry of sustainability and energy, has raised significantly. We need to enrol individuals with these skills into our industries whether they are men or women. If we don’t, the industries won’t grow and there will be no impact as to what we are trying to achieve. Recruitment is important but equality and zero discrimination rules need to be followed.
I have mentioned this before that academia alone does not necessarily make good experts in our industry and I will always fall back to my mentoring program of supporting young professionals and developing their knowledge. I’m witnessing this change of young professionals coming into our industry having mentored young professionals in both India and Africa.
The Energy and Sustainability industries in my opinion have no discrimination. Within the groups I have had the honour to participate in, I have seen a percentage of change and a balance of both men and women. What we need to do now though, is to take this to the next level. Please forgive me as I start playing the old record again, but I think we need to simply ensure that our knowledge is shared and to make sure that it is made available for everyone to learn from.
This is one of the reasons that I post daily onto my office ‘LinkedIn’ as it is a great platform from which to share knowledge, views and to seek global engagement. My knowledge has no discrimination and it is available for everyone to learn from. The more people and engagement in the knowledge, the more we will see an impact to the changes that need to happen.
There are many woman coming into this industry and I know that there are leaders developing from those that I have worked alongside, having even reported to many. I have even been pipped to the post for promotions which personally was tough but I knew was the right decision.
I’m hoping that I will continue to network with Hayley and the WUN and become a ‘Mentor’ for them voluntarily, enabling me to continue supporting young professionals in taking big steps within this exciting industry.
If you are a women in this industry, please look-up Hayley Monks. Her link is in the post. Find out how you can join this group and if you’re an experienced expert who wants to share your knowledge, please contact me. I’m going to volunteer my time to this group to make a difference to our industry. Hayley is doing an amazing job bringing this group together and she is part of a strong team.
I’m going to predict that in the coming years more and more women are going to be coming into our industry (I’m witnessing this now) and more and more women are going to be taking the lead which is not a bad thing as we all have the right to make a difference on our environment and the future for our children and our children’s children.