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Women in energy transcend gender gap

Over the past two years, you will have noticed the number of online platforms promoting women in the power and energy industry’s exponential growth.

Author: ESI Africa editor, Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl

I’m proud that ESI Africa is among the pioneers – the brand featured its first Women in Energy profile in issue 4 2014.

The first interview with Dr Margaret Mkhosi – South Africa’s first female and black PhD nuclear engineer – left a lasting personal impression on me; her remarkable story of overcoming resistance to her choice of career is admirable.

A common thread in these interviews that I’ve conducted over the years is one of commitment to mentor young professionals and share knowledge with other women. Another is that of having a supportive family to endure the adversity of working in a role that was once reserved for men.

The industry is not only in a gender transition but also undergoing an energy revolution.

Women in energy lead expert teams

This brings me to our latest interview, where I caught up with Dr Rebekah Shirley, Chief Research Officer at Power for All and Visiting Researcher at Strathmore University in Kenya. This passionate, vocal scientist is working with a new generation of energy researchers and science communication technology to tackle some of the energy sector’s biggest challenges through analysing data.

Technology is giving the industry a sharper edge; however, it is leadership that will deliver positive results. In the words of Margaret: “To be a great leader, you must start out as a great follower and always remember that ‘leadership is an action, not a position’.”

Here are a few industry platforms that provide women in the industry with a dedicated space to network:

In South Africa today, 9 August, we celebrate Women’s Day and invite you to share your platforms with us with a note on what your focus and mission are.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.