renewable energy sector
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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.