In conversation with the successful Chloe Munro Scholarship 2022 recipients, who will all be undertaking a leadership course delivered by Education Provider, Women & Leadership Australia.
Tell us a bit about yourself personally and professionally
I grew up mostly in Tasmania and later moved to Queensland for university. I completed a Bachelor of Laws and Arts at Bond University and undertook a semester abroad in Washington, D.C. where I completed an internship at the American Foreign Service Association. After I completed my studies, I started my legal career as a graduate in Brisbane.
I am now legal counsel at Iberdrola Australia. Iberdrola Australia, amongst other things, generates and sources renewable energy, and provides customers with clean energy solutions. I am proud to work at Iberdrola Australia because each day my colleagues and I work towards achieving a clean energy future. The legal team supports all aspects of the business on a range of matters, for example, working on contracts for the development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, running with my dog and painting. I am also learning how to play piano, guitar and golf! I want to live an environmentally conscious life and reduce my carbon footprint. This year I am keen to limit our household waste as much as possible and set up a compost.
What was your pathway into the renewable energy industry?
While working at law firms, I gravitated towards sustainability and renewable energy related clients and work because I wanted to make a positive impact on the planet through my career. When my now husband needed to move to Sydney for work, I took the opportunity to look for an in-house legal role at a renewable energy focused business. In 2020, I started work as legal counsel at Infigen Energy (now Iberdrola Australia). At Iberdrola Australia, I have been able to leverage my projects experience and am exposed to the development of renewable energy projects from inception to completion. It is an exciting time to work in the clean energy sector!
What leadership impact do you hope to make with the scholarship?
I am inspired every day by my female colleagues and peers. I witness my colleagues and peers demonstrate leadership at all career levels. The key themes taught during the Leading Edge course, and the incredible network of emerging female leaders who I meet during the course, will assist me with my professional development and journey towards one day hopefully finding a seat at key decision making tables in the sector. Equally, I propose to channel my learnings towards championing women.
In a male-dominated industry, what advice or encouragement would you give women who want to work in the clean energy sector?
The advice that I have been given repeatedly throughout my career so far is, ‘back yourself’. It has been repeated to me because I often struggle to implement the concept. In my mind, ‘back yourself’ means to remember your value. While the clean energy sector is currently male-dominated, especially when you look at senior leadership roles, women continue to be an incredibly important asset. Women should not be intimidated by those statistics, but rather continue to be themselves, form meaningful professional connections and do the work that they are passionate about.
Why is it important to support female leaders in the clean energy industry and what improvements could be made to increase the number of women in renewables?
We need to champion female leaders because the world continues to face the difficult challenge of achieving net zero as fast as possible. To achieve net zero, all key decision making tables across the sector need the most capable talent available, in addition to people with diverse experiences and views. Supporting female leaders in the clean energy industry broadens the talent pool available for governments, businesses and organisations across Australia.
Moreover, the impacts of climate change has and will continue to affect everyone on the planet, no matter who they are. A genuine cross section of society needs to be represented in leadership positions to ensure a fair and just energy transition for all.
We can increase the number of women in the clean energy sector by continuing to talk about the problems and, most importantly, the solutions. We can create a ripple effect by more people becoming aware of the statistics and reasons for change. Thank you to the Clean Energy Council and its sponsors for establishing scholarships and programs for women in renewables. You are accelerating the change!
If you would like more information on our scholarship opportunities, please click here or email [email protected]
This Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of our partners.