International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
Women make up 21% of the wind industry. At WindESCo, women are engineers, PhDs, leaders in sales, marketing and product management. We work with strong, innovative and intelligent women each day, all contributing to a measurable increase in wind plant energy production. To celebrate #IWD, we listened to what they had to say about being a woman in the industry.
Marisa Kiefer, Senior Product Manager
When I was first introduced to International Women’s Day in the workplace, I laughed a little because it felt like my success up to that point was largely because I was able to mimic and operate within the bounds that my male managers had expected. Later on, I had some strong female mentors who helped celebrate and demonstrate the strengths women bring to the workplace that I wanted to emulate.
This day reminds me of the incredible strength and perspectives that women bring to the working world as well as the progress we still have to make. I am incredibly proud to work at a company that allows me to blend my engineering background with my passion for renewables. The future of the global energy market is only going to become more dependent on renewables. Working at a company that helps leverage our assets to the best of our ability is essential in a contracting supply market!
Andrea Sanchez, Senior Application Engineer
At first, my interest in wind energy was purely pragmatic - I knew we needed to develop a green energy infrastructure that could take us away from the fossil path. And wind turbines were just too beautiful to not make an engineer passionate.
With time, and the ever-more present indications of global warming, taking an active part of the energy transition became morally imperative.
As a mother, working with wind energy has become a soother to me. Similar to the young Greta and so many other youngsters, I too have been deeply saddened by the realization of the climate chaos. I know my child will face many more hurdles because of the incredible dirty resources that my generation and the previous ones before me have enjoyed. Joining the climate protests, I knew that the day I needed to tell my son about climate change, that day I could also tell him that I was working hard to make the transition to a green path sooner.
Fortunately, working in a green industry is very motivating as I know everyone is feeling similarly, and hence working with the same objectives. Beyond a specific company goal, I know everyone in the industry shares the same deep motivation. To enable a fossil-free future.
Amy Thompson, VP of North American Sales
I was actually interested in a startup Clean Energy Collective here in Boulder, CO and pursued the job for over a year until they had their “B” round of funding. They were one, if not the first for Community Solar in the US. It was an exciting time to sell this new offering in solar as a VP of Sales. Many local and state organizations still benefit from CEC solar. It really put me into the Renewable Energy sector all at once. I love driving by the solar farms in my area and know I helped make them a reality.
Emma Medford, Digital Marketing & Content
I am a creative person with a strong appreciation for analytical processes, which is how I found marketing. I knew I didn't want to market for a company that wasn't trustworthy or did not have "the greater good" in mind, which is when I decided to look into the renewable/wind industry. I am excited to spread the word about and create a voice for a brand that contributes to clean energy. At WindESCo, we all believe in reducing carbon emissions by increasing the renewable energy capacity and I am proud to have a small hand in that effort.
International Women's Day is important because, although everyone has accomplishments that should be recognized, it was not always accepted for women to speak about and be outwardly proud of theirs. There is always room for improvement for gender equality in the world, but a day dedicated to celebrating women's accomplishments shows how far we have made it. I am grateful to be part of a company that respects and appreciates all of its employees and their hard work and dedication to the industry.
Sanjana Vijayshankar, Controls Engineer
My love for math in high school motivated me to take up engineering. In graduate school, I immersed myself in applied math courses and control became one of my favorite things to study. My PhD advisor, Prof. Pete Seiler introduced me to the world of wind farm control and all the open challenges in that area. I worked on questions like "How to get (cheap) mathematical models of wind farms?" and "In light of the anticipated evolution of the power system, what happens when a wind farm is connected to the grid?" These were very open ended questions that helped gain insights into the research area. Working with my collaborators at the National Renewable Energy Labs, I learnt how data can be an enabling ingredient in wind farm studies.