Tammy Chu is the Managing Director of Entura, a specialist power and water consulting firm which is part of Hydro Tasmania. She was appointed to the position in 2011 after working in various position within the business since 2000.
What do you do and why do you like it?
I am the Managing Director of Entura, one of the world’s most experienced power and water consulting firms. Entura is part of Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest renewable energy producer and water manager. I am responsible for Entura’s business strategy, performance and services to clients, and I am a member of Hydro Tasmania’s Leadership Group.
What do you believe are some of your key achievements to date?
I was the first female president of the Tasmanian Division of Engineers Australia, and have been an Engineers Australia National Congress representative. Last year I was appointed to the Board of the International Hydropower Association, something I am very proud of.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2016?
2016 will be a very important year for Entura. We are currently exploring a potential joint venture with two subsidiaries of PowerChina, a Fortune 500 company, to drive Entura’s future growth.
This opportunity would accelerate Entura’s growth by expanding our capability and geographic coverage through the broader international presence of our potential partners. And I believe this growth in capability and coverage will bring great benefit to our clients and our people.
What attracted you to the renewable energy industry and why do you think it’s a great sector for women?
Growing up in Tasmania, it was easy to become passionate about renewables as we are surrounded by natural resources and the state has been active in hydropower for over a century. As a civil engineer, I specialised in the design and construction of mini-hydro and hydropower systems, hydropower investigations, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, environmental assessments and approvals, resource investigations and resource water management.
Over time, I have seen more and more women joining the sector and taking on leadership roles and I think this trend will continue.
Why do you think there is such a gender imbalance in the clean energy sector?
With only 12 per cent of women in the overall engineering workforce, it is not surprising there is a gender imbalance in the clean energy sector.
Have you experienced any personal challenges, or have any thoughts on solutions to attract more women to this industry?
Attracting females to this industry needs to start at school education and promoting science, technology and maths subjects for school students, so that we create a larger pool of women in our industry. We also need organisational and industry-level commitments to addressing the gender imbalance, such as ensuring that female sponsors and male champions encourage women and address barriers with flexible working arrangements.
Do you have any anecdotes that help to illustrate the opportunities for women in renewables?
The opportunities for women in renewables are endless. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great mentors who have encouraged me to ‘have a go’, even when I may not have believed in myself to do so.