Celebrating the women at REC installer customers in Australia, Singapore, and Thailand
The global energy transformation, driven by renewables and particularly solar, is bringing far-reaching, systemic changes to our society. Renewable energy employs about 32% women, compared to 22% in the energy sector overall, according to a 2019 report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA estimates that the number of jobs in renewables could increase from 10.3 million in 2017 to nearly 29 million in 2050.
The global energy transition offers the chance to create new jobs and reshape all aspects of how energy is produced and distributed. Renewables offer diverse opportunities along the value chain, requiring different skill sets and more progress toward gender equality when opportunities are equally accessible and the benefits evenly distributed.
We also believe that women who are in the renewables need to be celebrated and in commemoration of International Women's Day, we are happy to profile five such amazing women from REC Certified Solar Professional installer compaies Australia, Singapore and Thailand.
Cathy Ziang, Rezeca Renewables, Singapore
Cathy is a Operations Manager at REZECA Renewables in Singapore, which is an REC Certified Solar Professionalinstaller with over 250 residential systems in Singapore, really making a difference in the solar energy landscape. When we asked Cathy what keeps her motivated to be in this industry, she responded: “Solar energy is an abundant source of energy especially in a tropical country like Singapore. I am proud and grateful that I have been able to work in this industry while contributing to the environment simultaneously. My passion for contributing towards a more environmentally friendly community and helping our customers and partners switch to solar energy is the biggest motivation for me.”
Asked what piece of motivation she would give to young women looking at solar as a career option, she mentioned, “ I strongly feel young women should not feel hesitant in venturing into an industry that is traditionally dominated by men or even into unknown territories. Instead, they should follow their beliefs, passion and make it into a reality.”
Sophie Wright, Velocity Solar, Australia
Sophie is a proud mom and wears many hats as a mother and solar consultant. She spoke to us about whether there is a difference in perception when it comes to women in the industry: "There are times when it can feel like a struggle, not only from within the industry itself but interestingly from customers too. I often feel the need to validate myself by stating by skills and qualifications whereas I know this is not the case for many of my male colleagues. There is however an increasing feeling of support from both men and women, and more doors are opening up as women realise the great opportunities that exist within the solar industry.”
Elaborating further on the same theme and how the same challenges can be a motivator: "Solar makes sense! We are so fortunate to be able to use sunshine to create a renewable, clean source of electricity, with the added bonus of saving people money. It’s such a growing and evolving industry with huge potential for real career progression in a variety of fields."
For young woman interested in pursuing a career in solar industry, she has only one advice: “There are so many possibilities out there. Work out what interests you and then simply focus on that. It’s so important to enjoy what you do, and when you invest in your passion, doors will continue to open.”
Onuma Sisangthong, Chief Financial Operation, Sitron Power Company Limited, Nortis Group, Thailand
Onuma is in a leadership role in the Nortis Group, and is a keen advocate of women in leadership positions. When asked what her experience has been in navigating in a male industry, she says, “It’s been quite a ride, acceptance has never been easy for gender inequality anywhere and in any sector however its been proven that experience and performance are far more important than gender. So I tend to keep my head up, stand up straight and move on without using gender as excuse.”
Asked what led her to choose solar, she adds “We grew up with the sun, especially in Thailand where we only have hot and hotter season. Solar has been my passion since my first working experience, how I felt in love with it back then also apply to now. Clean, no pollution and sustainable are keys to my liking.”
Lily Pejkic, CEO, Sydney Solar and Batteries, Australia
Lily is an entrepreneur in the industry and truly embodies the idea of Solar Wwonder Women; she’s the founder and CEO of Sydney Solar Batteries and leads an all women installer team in the Sydney region. Speaking on the role of women in the renewable industry and what should young women look for, she explains: “For young girls looking to get into the trades, renewables or business, I would suggest joining groups that are able to support your interests and provide you with the life skills needed. Schools, colleges, universities, local community groups, industry bodies and corporations may offer mentorships and training programs that are tailored to supporting more women in the industry. Follow your dreams and passion and always put in the effort to learn and attain skills where possible.”
Asked what is her motivation, she asserts, “My motivation is my children, to be able to provide for them and work in an industry that I am passionate about and is rewarding on many levels.”
Nellie Hobbs, Solar Consultant, Inspire Energy, Australia
Nellie is a young woman and relatively new to the industry and yet she has shown immense talent in taking up the new trade and going miles. She says passionately: “Give it a go! It doesn’t matter if you have experience in the industry as long as you’re willing to learn, work hard, celebrate all the wins whether they are big or small, and willing to overcome adversity you can be successful!"