Women in Energy: Leveraging talent in the US energy sector

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Women in Energy: Leveraging talent in the US energy sector

Women in Energy: Leveraging talent in the US energy sector

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National Grid literally took center stage on July 12 at an important gathering of current and future women leaders in the energy industry at ‘The Business of Getting to Clean Energy and Environment,” presented by New England Women in Energy and Environment (NEWIEE), sponsored by National Grid and hosted by Tufts University. NEWIEE is a non-profit organization committed to supporting the work and leadership of women in the industry.

National Grid USA Board Director and Innovation Strategist Cheri Warren joined fellow panelists Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO of Current, Powered by GE; and Cynthia Arcate, president and CEO of Power Options, to discuss the roadmap to our clean energy future. The event drew more than 200 people for an evening of insightful discussion and networking.

Cheri talked about the importance of co-creating a vision with customers and policymakers, and locating energy resources in environmentally acceptable ways and places. Maryrose Sylvester discussed the unprecedented pace of the energy industry and the need to shift from a focus on product specification to a business model specification. Cynthia Arcate commented on the importance of competitive markets and responding to customers’ risk tolerances. Mary Ellen Paravalos, a member of NEWIEE’s board of directors and National Grid’s FERC Jurisdiction Strategy & Performance director, delivered closing remarks, stating, “I am so proud of the leadership and talent represented in this room.”

National Grid director and NEWIEE board member Mary Ellen Paravalos wraps up the event.

National Grid director and NEWIEE board member Mary Ellen Paravalos wraps up the event.

Reflecting on the event and the need for more women to become industry leaders, Mary Ellen said, “Women play an important role in today’s energy sector, and if we are to address climate change and achieve a clean energy future, it is increasingly vital that we leverage all of our collective leadership and talent.”

Her point is validated by data from Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, which indicates that the US energy industry will be short three million workers by 2020. Women currently comprise between 25 and 33 percent of the clean energy workforce, lagging other technical sectors.  In the US, National Grid’s workforce is about 23 percent women.  At National Grid, a number of efforts are focused on recruiting and developing women as leaders across disciplines including technical and operations areas. Within National Grid, the Women in Networks (WiN) and Women in Non-traditional Roles (WinTR) resource groups provide professional development programming  and support to employees and prospective employees.

In November, National Grid will be the host utility for EUCI’s prestigious Women in Energy Leadership Conference in Boston. Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts will deliver the conference keynote address, “Creating the Next Generation of Women Leaders in Energy.” The EUCI conference will focus on women leaders discussing the energy and is expected to draw several hundred attendees.

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