‘The Role That Women Can Play’ In Energy Today—Tips From Top Women At Deloitte

The pandemic has caused millions of people, especially women, to rethink their careers. It may have been stimulated by all that time working from home, or the shift to remote work opening up opportunities in any location, or homeschooling their kids for months while schools were closed, or the joy they found in hobbies or side hustles. It’s no wonder that a Bankrate survey found 55% of people say they are looking to change jobs over the next 12 months.

This is especially true among people who want to use their skills and talents to address climate change and/or socio-economic inequities. More opportunities are opening up in these areas than ever before.

There are few industries where this is more evident than in the energy sector.  From the major oil and gas companies like BP and Shell announcing net zero goals, to government agencies and private companies creating new positions, nonprofits gaining more influence, to entrepreneurs birthing new solutions, and the investors stepping up to fund them, there are plenty of new ways to think about your career today.

And more shifts are on the way, as companies, institutions and countries gear up to seize opportunities in the new  U.S. infrastructure bills and to meet commitments made at the big UN Climate Conference known as COP26 starting on November 1.

So, where do you fit in amidst these changes?

What’s the best way to think about a career in energy today – especially as a woman in such a traditionally male-dominated field that’s being completely reinvented?

It may be hard to get your footing or to know exactly where you add value in all the chaos. Since energy companies and utilities cannot close for renovation like a restaurant can, this massive pivot is happening while they keep the power flowing. That makes it both exciting and confusing. It also opens up opportunities.

As Kathryn Pavlovsky, head of Deloitte’s Energy, Resources and Industrials practice, told me on my Electric Ladies podcast recently, “What I am finding is that the pandemic has motivated women to appreciate their experiences, the contribution that they can make going forward, and whether they are currently in the best position to be driving forward with those.” 

She and her colleague on the other side of the energy spectrum, Kristen Sullivan, head of Deloitte’s Sustainability and Supply Chain Compliance, gave valuable insight into how to think about your next career move.

“The ecosystem is evolving.” Here are five advice highlights from these top women: