Future of Energy

Women in energy

Posted on 17 January 2020
By Kate Derrick
Kate Derrick
Head of Direct Sales

Kate has over 15 years’ experience in the energy industry and was awarded the ‘Best Woman in Field Sales’ at the Women in Sales Awards 2014. In her current position, Kate is responsible for leading the Direct Sales Teams by developing and optimising the new business strategy for the Mid-Market channel at nBS.

Women in energy

Throughout my career in the energy industry, I’ve never felt that being a woman has had any negative bearing on my ability to succeed.

Indeed, being a woman in a male-dominated sector has at times, I believe, enabled me to stand out and make more of a difference.

And at a pivotal time of change in the way we generate, distribute and consume energy, attracting more diversity into the industry can only help to fast-track the solutions we need to make a successful transition.

Perhaps because of this need for change – and to do things differently – has the topic of ‘women in energy’ seemed to have gained more traction lately.

Supporting the energy transition

I was delighted to share a platform recently with two high-profile energy professionals – Jaz Rabadia MBE, Chartered Energy and Sustainability Director for WeWork, and Guilia Usai, Global Utilities Manager for GlaxoSmithKline – to discuss this very topic.

We shared our experiences and ideas for how the industry can actively include women in the energy transition to ensure that we meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities that lie ahead.

You can listen to our conversation in our podcast here.

High-performers in sales

I also had the pleasure of finding out more about the performance of women in another traditionally male-dominated area, when I was asked to be a judge at the Women in Sales Awards at the end of last year.

My fellow judges (one of whom was Sales and Marketing Director for another major energy company) and I interviewed the candidates for Best Woman Sales Newcomer.

Although the nominees hadn’t been working in sales for more than 18 months, I was blown away by the dedication, hard work and smart thinking each one demonstrated.

Overcoming hardship to succeed

I was also struck by their personal journeys. Each one was both refreshing and inspiring – and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet them and hear their stories. 

Our winner, Lucinder Sharp – an Account Executive from Virgin Media Business – had battled through recovery from a terrible accident, which helped her find such determination and a belief that she could achieve anything.

Another finalist was forging a new career in sales after her husband had left her and their two children, meaning that the life they’d been accustomed to now needed to be funded through her own financial success.

The Women in Sales Awards are the biggest in the industry and attract entries from women working for big household names (e.g. Microsoft, American Express, Experian, Adobe, Oracle).

Diversity key for corporate strength

The event organisers say: “Encouraging diversity in the workplace is increasingly seen as a way of making companies stronger in the modern business environment.”

And of course, a key aspect of diversity is encouraging women to enter and excel in traditionally male-dominated fields – such as sales and also energy.

So here’s to more women joining our numbers – and to finding the solutions we need to meet the many challenges we face now and in the coming years.

Comments

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  • Shaira
    17 January 2020 at 5:49 PM
    Thank you for sharing Kate. It’s an amazing experience to be a part of. Proud of seeing all these big companies to show support and invest in the development of their employees, especially women of course. With that I’m personally thankful for Verizon for allowing myself and my colleagues to partake in this event.
  • Shaira
    17 January 2020 at 5:50 PM
    Thank you for sharing Kate. It’s an amazing experience to be a part of. Proud of seeing all these big companies to show support and invest in the development of their employees, especially women of course. With that I’m personally thankful for Verizon for allowing myself and my colleagues to partake in this event.