Following September’s Women in New Energy conference, Beena Sharma has launched a podcast series in the build-up to the event’s return later in the year.
In the first episode of this podcast series, Beena Sharma – chief executive and co-founder of CCU International – hosts Ingrid Huldal – director of portfolio advancement for Expro – and Sunday Times bestselling author and television personality, Andrea McLean.
The trio discusses how creating opportunities for women in the energy industry is crucial for achieving gender balance and diversity and the importance of role models in the sector.
This conversation explored the themes of career change, taking risks, and embracing change in midlife and the importance of male allies in promoting gender equality in the energy space.
Ms McLean spoke about how she perceives the term ‘energy’ within the context of the episode’s themes.
She said: “We all know about the importance of renewable energy as an external source when we’re talking about our planet, when we’re talking about the energy that we consume.
“But what about the energy within ourselves, which we always treat as if it is a source that is going to just last forever and is as humans, but particularly as women, we tend to just keep going and going and going and going, thinking that somehow it will renew it magically.”
The author of This Girl is on Fire and Confessions of a Menopausal Woman delivered a keynote speech to the capacity crowd at the Women in New Energy (W.I.N.E) event in September when she joined remotely.
Co-founded by Beena Sharma and Annabel Sall and supported by Energy Voice, W.I.N.E set out to support and celebrate the critical role women have in shaping the future of the energy sector.
The event also featured two-panel discussions and Q&A sessions focusing on local leaders and international influencers, an exclusive mentoring clinic from AXIS Network and a private workshop from 3t.
Ms Huldal shared: “There was one lady I spoke to right after the event itself had finished and we were doing the networking.
“She asked me for some advice on a promotion she’d been waiting for, I think it was over a year, and she kept being told by her managers ‘it’s coming, it’s coming’. Inspired by what she’d heard that day and everything that we talked about after the event and during the networking, she went into work the next morning very energised and keen to have this conversation with her manager.”
She explained that the woman had been in contact a few days later and was “very happy to let me know that she’d been given the promotion.”
Beena Sharma explained that one of the reasons she wanted to bring about the first W.I.N.E event was that young women looking to break into the energy industry had asked her to mentor them.
Both being a mentor and receiving mentorship is something that Ms Sharma believes is beneficial to people in any stage of their career.
She said: “I have mentors for different things, and they’re not always in the same industry or in my industry, so it is hugely beneficial.
“Sometimes it can come across as a bit of an altruistic act, but actually you gain so much as an individual for mentoring others and it reminds you sometimes where you came from, you know you were you were in that position at some point where you needed help, you needed guidance, you needed some support.”
The CCU International boss explained that mentoring someone can make her think “this was me Once Upon a time. I was young. I was ambitious. I didn’t really know which way to turn.”
Ms Sharma added: “I think it’s good to remind ourselves where we came from. We’ll talk about the definition of success means different things to different people, but I think one of the things that many women enjoy doing is mentoring, coaching and helping others come up through the ranks to be able to achieve whatever it is that they want to achieve.”
This came from the first episode in a series of podcasts that will be released on the run up to the next W.I.N.E event.
To listen to the full conversation between Beena Sharma, Ingrid Huldal, and Andrea McLean click here.
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