Women hold just 16 per cent of jobs in the traditional energy workforce, demonstrating that the energy sector must attract more women to its talent pool to contribute their diverse experiences and knowledge to meet ambitious net zero goals.
This International Women’s Day, we sat down with four colleagues at ElectraLink to hear their perspectives on career progression, their experiences being a woman within their respective fields, and insights on how we can inspire positive change.
Kulwinder’s experience: “it’s essential to stand out, prove that you know what you’re talking about …”
“I’ve found that as a woman in tech, people don’t always consider me as highly as my male counterparts, so it’s essential to stand out, prove that you know what you’re talking about, and there’s a lot of additional work required to be outstanding in this field that people don’t always see. One of the key things I’ve been doing over the past few years is getting involved in national forums and related roundtables to network, share knowledge and expertise, and show the industry my expertise in this field, but so many women still don’t have or take those opportunities.
“I’m an elected SME Director on the Tech UK Board and a lot of that has come from building rapport with people in the industry and finding people to support you. It’s a joy to work at ElectraLink and I think the balance we have here makes things a lot easier.
“I also think that as young girls progress through school they don’t want to get into technology or computing because it’s not an area that feels comfortable for them and is viewed as a ‘boys’ occupation’. I think for us to see any wider change across this area, more messaging and support is required in primary and secondary schools to show girls it’s a great area to be involved in. As a Parent Governor, I’ve been asked to speak at my daughter’s school about what cybersecurity is and why more girls should get involved, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
– Kulwinder Johal, Head of Information Security
Joanne’s experience: “I’ve never felt like being a woman in that space has held me back…”
“I became interested in software testing during my industrial placement at university. My manager at the time was great at what she did and taught me a lot, and I just really felt like testing suited me and my skillset.
“Since I started at ElectraLink, I’ve acted as a representative for the company across a lot of different programmes and I’ve never felt like being a woman in that space has held me back. I’m proud to produce high-quality products for our customers and help towards ElectraLink’s reputation in the market.”
– Joanne Wright, Test Analyst
Louise’s experience: “I feel that they really want to help you grow and progress, regardless of gender…”
“I started at ElectraLink in 2019 as an accounts assistant, and since then I have been promoted three times to reach my current role of Finance Business Partner. Throughout my career at ElectraLink, the company has helped me progress with my education and meet all of the practical requirements for my ACCA qualification.
“I’m now a fully qualified Accountant (ACCA Member) and ElectraLink played a big role in making that happen for me. It’s a great place to work, and I feel that they really want to help you grow and progress, regardless of gender.”
– Louise Thomas, Finance Business Partner
Kate’s experience: “Work with people who inspire you, and who you can learn from”
“I find myself at ElectraLink after working in countless areas of our industry, where I have gained a wide and varied set of expertise. I’ve never focused on having a career; I have always been drawn to roles, projects or companies that interest and inspire me. This approach has always led me to the innovative and exciting areas of the energy industry, where my gender has never once been a consideration.
“Our industry has so many opportunities to carve out a long and varied career, but the key for me has always been the people you are working alongside. Work with people who inspire you, and who you can learn from… and then once you reach my stage of my career, you pay it back and pass that insight on.”
– Kate Frazer, New Product Development Manager
EDI at ElectraLink
Although women account for only 16 per cent of roles within the traditional energy sector, at ElectraLink, as of February 2023, 46 per cent of ElectraLink employees identify as women. We are proud to have a near-equal balance within our organisation and ahead of industry peers, but as part of our ongoing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy, we are continuously striving to make ElectraLink a more welcoming place to work for all.
Real change for workplace equity will not happen until we take action to create spaces where women thrive in the workplace and beyond. Supporting career growth and personal development, inviting women to contribute to industry conversations and thought leadership opportunities, and providing mentorship and education for young people are impactful ways to make positive change.
For more information on our overall EDI strategy, click here: https://www.electralink.co.uk/equity-diversity-and-inclusion-at-electralink/
Statistics source: https://www.iea.org/topics/energy-and-gender