Why women need to consider a career in renewables

‘International Women’s Day reminds us to celebrate the women who have already made history, but it also encourages women to continue making history,’ says Sarah Lancaster of Rotos 360.

International Women’s Day took place on Sunday 8 March and its impact will continue to be felt throughout the year. Designed to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the global event also marks a call to action for accelerating female equality across the world.

This message has undoubtedly become more prominent over the past decade, as international communities have become increasingly aware of their own shortcomings. In an effort to support women and consistently instil the message of International Women’s Day, many of us are working passionately to create a more prosperous space for women across professional sectors.

One industry working to celebrate female empowerment and gender equality is the world of renewables. Built upon the premise of creating a healthier and more positive environment, the renewable energy sector is now extending this goal, using its platform to maintain a supportive workplace culture for women. After all, our world needs to be enhanced both environmentally and socially if we hope to create a more inspiring ideal for future generations.

A company at the helm of this journey is Rotos 360. My name is Sarah Lancaster and I’m Rotos 360’s Business Development Manager. We use the latest innovations available to identify and repair damage, excessive wear and other potential issues that can affect wind turbine blades. Working to repair blades across the country and beyond, Rotos 360 is renowned for its exceptional standard of service and its vibrant team of talented experts.

Rotos 360, which is part of the UK’s leading marine services provider –James Fisher and Sons plc, proactively encourages women to pursue careers in renewables, whilst celebrating women who have already found success within an industry that’s historically male-dominated. For example, to tackle statistics which suggest that women represent 32% of full time employees in the renewable energy sector, as reported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Rotos 360 proudly supports female members of our team who have found incredible professional success without limitations. I am just one example of a renewables success story and I am proud of Rotos 360’s consistent commitment to gender equality. 

Since joining Rotos 360, I have become a source of support for the company’s co-founders. Through working with Rotos 360, a company doing everything within its power to propel the wind energy sector forward, I am proud to be part of a team of talented experts. I also reflect Rotos 360’s commitment to gender equality; I am therefore sharing my story to help inspire women who hope to pursue a career in renewables.

I have been involved in business development from the very start of my career in renewables. Throughout my career, I have learnt a tremendous amount and really have gained an extensive understanding of renewables. From how a control centre operates to what an ‘Energy Yield Analysis’ entails and the effects of Leading Edge Erosion on a turbine blade, I have enjoyed every moment of this journey.

As a woman in renewables, I have found success by building strong business relationships. This large network, filled with talented experts of both genders, embodies my passion for renewables and my professional drive. Whether you are male or female, if you have an unwavering work ethic and a commitment to our planet, then you can be triumphant in the energy sector. As women, we must not restrict our own success. If you believe that you are capable of excelling within a role, then you can. As International Women’s Day suggests, we control our destiny and nothing is out of reach.

I attend numerous events to connect with fellow women, creating a positive narrative throughout our industry. After all, your gender should not limit your aspirations. For example, I attended a WiME event on Tuesday 3 March, a gathering organised to inspire young women. Encouraging everyone, gender regardless, to consider a career in this exciting industry is of paramount importance to attract the best candidates. I therefore discussed where the industry has taken me and why these opportunities are such rewarding career options.

I am honoured to support events like these – their message is so important and they are clearly creating change. I started working at Natural Power back in 2013 and whilst men did fulfil the majority of this sector’s senior roles, I saw women become increasingly influential, transitioning into senior positions with ease. This is a message that I, and Rotos 360 as a whole, want to highlight. The industry is eagerly awaiting skilled female experts, despite what the sector’s misplaced stereotypes might suggest.

Not only are there exciting positions available to women, but now is the perfect time for women to join the renewables sector. This industry is growing exponentially, nudging past fossil fuels both in terms of popularity and efficiency. We are in the midst of a tipping point in Britain’s energy transition. If women hope to positively impact our environment whilst finding professional success, then a role in renewables will inevitably be the perfect fit.

I urge anyone with a commitment to the environment to consider how they can join this global transition. International Women’s Day reminds us to celebrate the women who have already made history, but it also encourages women to continue making their mark on the world.

As International Women’s Day suggests, we must support one another’s continued growth and success, both within the workplace and in our personal lives. No matter your gender or background, equal opportunities must be made available to all. In my experience, careers in renewables are wonderfully challenging. They allow everyone to develop their knowledge and skill sets, instilling a sense of satisfaction as we know, unquestionably, that we are all working towards an end goal which will benefit the entire world.

I myself have found inspiration in a variety of female role models throughout the renewable energy sector. I would encourage anyone who is eager to understand energy and the women who reside at the forefront of this industry to research the pioneers who are leading us into an even brighter future. For example, Claire Mack, CEO at Scottish Renewables, Lindsay McQuade, CEO of Scottish Power Renewables and Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive of Good Energy, are incredible women who have helped to redefine renewable energy.

As we wave goodbye to this year’s International Women’s Day and look forward to the year ahead, remember that you are capable of anything. The renewables sector is becoming increasingly diverse so if you hope to pursue a career which protects the planet, now is the time. Become your own success story.

About the author: Sarah Lancaster is Rotos 360’s Business Development Manager. Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in financial, commercial, project and sales roles, having joined Rotos 360 in April 2019. She has enjoyed a varied career in renewables and now uses her expertise to support the Rotos 360 team. Sarah embodies business management as she passionately develops client relationships, works closely with delivery teams and pushes opportunities over the line. She also supports Rotos 360 in its efforts to shape a greener future and works to inspire the next generation of industry leaders.

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