Women from the energy field join forces in Sydney

Female Essential Energy employee smiling wearing uniform and hard hat (essential energy)
Image: Essential Energy

In an energy industry first, women in ‘non-traditional’ field roles will come together to embrace equity and celebrate their achievements through an initiative by NSW energy distributors Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy

The industry’s first Women from the Field conference will provide a platform for women to be inspired and learn from others who came before them, while networking and collaborating to continue to lead change across the industry. 

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Ausgrid executive general manager network delivery services, Kelly Wood said the initiative was about providing opportunity, growth and support to women in roles that are traditionally male-dominated, aligning tightly to all three businesses’ commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity. 

“Across our industry we are seeing an increase in females taking on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles including apprenticeships, trades and engineering roles,” Wood said.

“This is a positive move forward to ensuring equity while operating businesses with a workforce that represents the local communities we serve.”

Research shows more women in the energy field brings benefits including a stronger business and economic results, increased employee retention, more creativity and collaborative working. At the same time challenges for women, especially when working in trade qualified roles, needs to be recognised. 

Essential Energy chief HR officer Amalie Smith said, “It isn’t always easy for women to work in trade qualified roles. There can be challenges stemming from a male dominated culture, general women’s health needs or even as simple as a lack of available female facilities or sourcing female specific PPE. However, we are seeing these challenges being addressed, and are focussed on continuing to make change for a truly inclusive environment.” 

Endeavour Energy general manager, people culture and transformation Melissa Irwin said, “I am proud that our industry is committed to ensuring a workplace that demonstrates our commitment to embracing equity everyday. We place significant importance on ensuring our employees can bring their whole selves to work and feel safe doing so.

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“It is exciting to be announcing this initiative on International Women’s Day, we are committed to see these women succeed and lead long and enjoyable careers and this initiative will help further that goal,” Irwin added. 

The Women from the Field Conference will be held in August 2023, with sessions to be held covering leadership, barriers to working in the field, collaboration, women’s health and the future of the electricity industry from industry experts. 

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