Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Women in Energy

Published:Monday | March 7, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Mariame McIntosh Robinson
Minna Israel
Nsombi Jaja
Kelly Tomblin
Hillary Alexander
Rochelle Cameron
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As we celebrate International Women's Day tomorrow, JPS will be hosting the first Women in Energy Conference to be held in the Caribbean.

More than 300 participants from Jamaica, the United States, Canada, Belize, the Cayman Islands, St Vincent, Turks and Caicos, Madagascar, and Nicaragua, will gather at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on March 10 and 11, for what conference host Kelly Tomblin, JPS president and CEO has dubbed a great moment for the empowerment, unification and magnification of our inner selves.

"This is not your typical conference. This is the start of a movement that will redefine what it means to be involved in the exciting energy industry. Conference participants will be forced to take a deeper look at how we are contributing to this very important sector. Energy is at the heart of everything, and globally, the energy sector is becoming more and more dynamic. Women leaders have a huge opportunity to shape the future if we fully commit to "Doing Power Differently," she said.

Tomblin explained that, while the conference will explore the current trends in energy, more time will be spent discussing how women can bring their "full voices" to this conversation about the future of energy.

"Traditionally, the energy sector has been male-dominated, but now women are becoming involved in every facet of the business. While it has taken a century, more and more women are taking on roles as engineers, line women, system operators, and as the head of utilities. However, we still have room to grow. Very often we find that women are still playing small and not bringing their full power to work because of intimidation or the limitations that we place on ourselves. To encourage great participation over the two days, while we get involved in finding solutions to the energy issues facing us globally, we will also look at how we can harness our power as women to take the energy industry forward in a creative, productive way," Tomblin indicated.

The Women in Energy Conference is not just for people working in energy. It's for anyone whose work impacts or is impacted by the energy sector. Women who are looking for leadership development, career enhancement and mentor ship, are expected to take part. Participants will learn about getting the best financing for their projects, how to navigate the corridors of power, and how to embrace and build on their authenticity as female leaders. Several female students are being specially sponsored to participate in the conference to acquaint them with the world of work - and the energy industry in particular.

A number of sectors are represented in the line-up of speakers and presenters for the Women in Energy Conference. Among them are: Hillary Alexander, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy; Jacqueline Sharp, CEO of Scotiabank Jamaica; Minna Israel, JPS board director; Ingrid Christian Baker, general manager of Jamaica Private Power Company (JPPC); Odeth Reynolds, vice president human resources at Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP); Sheree Martin, senior vice president customer and corporate services at JPS; Ava Tomlin, regional director - BMR Jamaica Wind Limited; Ambassador Audrey Marks, chairman of Paymaster Jamaica; Mariame Robinson, CEO of First Global Bank; Rochelle Cameron, vice president legal and regulatory affairs at Flow; Dr Ruth Potopsingh, associate vice of Sustainable Energy at Utech; and Dr Nsombi Jaja, certified management consultant.

Several local and international businesses are collaborating to make the conference a reality. Sponsors include: JPS, New Fortress Energy, Marubeni, Korea EWP, General Electric, Petrojam, USAID, Scotiabank Jamaica, Jamaica Energy Partners, BMR Jamaica Wind Energy, the Jamaica Private Power Company, PCJ, Wisynco, Vanry and Associates, Petra Systems Ltd, and Pear Tree Press Ltd.

"The fact that we have such varied sponsors shows that companies are recognising the importance of diversity for the success of our energy landscape," Tomblin noted.