‘Parity in leadership roles remains an ongoing challenge’

In another article of a series, Women in Solar Europe (WiSEu) gives voice to Angelika Möbius, the founder of the startup Solar AI Twin. She says addressing the gender gap in the solar industry is a complex task that requires a deep understanding of the unique challenges women face. Key barriers include a lack of mentorship opportunities and the absence of professional networks.

The energy sector has historically been male-dominated. Drawing from my 18 years of experience working for solar corporations, I recognize that we still have a significant journey ahead. Over time, we’ve made substantial progress in achieving gender balance at a general workforce level. In some of the corporations I’ve been part of, we’ve even achieved around 50% female representation –  a fantastic milestone.

However, parity in leadership roles remains an ongoing challenge. I don’t believe the solar sector is inherently more or less open to this transition than other industries. What’s crucial is the growing awareness of the powerful impact that diverse and inclusive teams have on business success. This recognition is now often mirrored in corporate goals across various sectors, emphasizing the need for positive change.

Addressing the gender gap in the solar industry is a complex task that requires a deep understanding of the unique challenges women face. Key barriers include a lack of mentorship opportunities, which are crucial from my perspective. Additionally, the absence of professional networks can limit access to job opportunities, information, advice, and support, all of which are essential for career advancement.

Recently established networks, such as WiSEu, are making significant strides in this area, providing a much-needed platform for women in the industry. I strongly encourage young professionals to actively engage with these resources.

If I had to give some other advice to younger professionals, it would be that building credibility is essential. Strive for excellence in your work, regardless of your gender. Trustworthiness, dependability, and consistently delivering on promises are critical attributes. Secondly, actively claim your seat at the table. Don’t hesitate to advocate for what you rightfully deserve—whether it’s acknowledgment, credit, or involvement in significant projects. Present your achievements factually and celebrate them, contributing to the overall success of the business. Lastly, embrace your authentic self. Seek out leaders who can guide your journey in a way that aligns with your values and aspirations. Their support will reassure you as you navigate your professional path.

After nearly two decades of corporate career, I decided to build a start-up aimed at tackling the challenges faced by Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M) teams in Europe through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Even in the still very early stage, the journey has proven immensely rewarding. Within the O&M industry, gender dynamics are unmistakably at play. Surprisingly, the sector remains predominantly male-dominated, evoking memories of my early career days. However, throughout my professional trajectory, I’ve gleaned invaluable insights from diverse individuals within organizations, regardless of gender. As I collaborate with exceptional O&M teams, our collective efforts aim to create impactful solutions. Simultaneously, I draw inspiration from the remarkable women contributing to the AI facet of our journey. While building a sustainable business is my goal, as a female leader, I also recognize the crucial role of empowering women and addressing barriers to enhance female representation in the solar sector. I am committed to always taking this responsibility.

With 18 years of experience in the solar industry, Angelika Möbius is a seasoned professional dedicated to building a sustainable future through renewable energy. Her expertise spans business development, strategy, and sales, with a history of senior leadership roles in leading solar companies such as Hanwha Q-Cells and First Solar Inc. She has successfully led numerous market entry and business expansion initiatives worldwide. Recognized for her ability to identify and validate customer needs, explore go-to-market channels, and design innovative solutions, she has recently transitioned to the startup side of the industry. Her early-stage startup, Solar AI Twin, aims to address the challenges faced by Solar Operations and Maintenance teams in Europe through the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Interested in joining Angelika and other women industry leaders and experts at Women in Solar Europe? Find out more: www.wiseu.network

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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