Odeth Reynolds to inspire at 'Women in Energy' conference
"With proper training, mentorship and the right attitude, women can flourish in the male-dominated energy industry." This is the view of Odeth Reynolds, vice-president of human resources and environmental health and safety at Jamaica Energy Partners. Reynolds is among the presenters scheduled to speak at the 'Women in Energy' conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston from March 9-12.
She says, "We make it our duty to hire women in this male-dominated industry and we also put an emphasis on women in the field and women interested in engineering."
As a vice-president at one of the largest independent power plants operated and managed by Jamaicans, Reynolds shares the view that energy is exciting. "It is the life blood of our productivity," she says, adding that this allows for constant development and growth. She explains that the industry has expanded in recent years, and that expansion has allowed for increased hiring of more persons, especially women.
Reynolds notes that even with this change in the industry, "Sometimes gender and age will cause people not to take women seriously, especially in a male-dominated industry; you may be seen as junior." She observes: "That is why it takes time for people to appreciate a female leader who is usually thought to be 'overly emotional' and not fair or firm."
Part of Reynolds' message to young female leadership aspirants will be that they ensure they have a proper understanding of the field that they want to pursue.
"People respect knowledge because with knowledge you have the authority," she says. She added that a good education is essential to one's career, success and growth.
Reynolds hopes to be an inspiration by sharing some of the lessons that she has acquired in her professional life.
"Lay a proper foundation, know what you want to achieve and what career path you want to take, and think about what you want to do for the next five to 10 years." She will also encourage young professionals to prioritise personal growth but have a balanced life. "You can have a life and still work hard," she said.
JPS is expecting more than 200 women from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to attend the conference to learn, connect, and inspire. Interested persons may visit the website at: www.womeninenergyja.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.