Invenergy Blog: March 31, 2020
Meet 5 Invenergy Women Making a Lasting Impact
By Donya Mansoubi and Liz Chereskin
In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day this March, Invenergy is celebrating the extraordinary women across the company who work hard every day to build a more sustainable world. We recognize our colleagues—from the United States to Mexico to Colombia to Japan—who dare to break barriers, make a lasting impact, and pave the way for more women to succeed in the sustainable energy industry.
We sat down with Linda Quarshie, Barbara De Abreu, Monica Monterrosa, Andrea Giampoli, and Michiyo Uehara to learn more about their professional journeys, challenges they have faced, and advice for women seeking to enter or advance in the industry.
In her role as Director of Insurance, Linda Quarshie mitigates, transfers, and backstops losses for the company.
Based in the Mexico City Office, Barbara De Abreu, Senior Transmission Manager, oversees all transmission activities for Invenergy’s projects across Latin America.
Monica Monterrosa, Director of International Development based in Invenergy’s new Medellin Office, leads project development in Colombia, including the partnership with one of Colombia’s major public utilities, Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM).
Recipient of the 2019 Invenergy Women’s Network Rising Star Award, Andrea Giampoli, Director of Environmental Compliance and Strategy, advises and supports our Development, Project Management, and Asset Management teams on how to develop, build, and operate projects in a way that will minimize their impact on the natural environment.
Michiyo Uehara, Invenergy’s Office Manager in Tokyo who was recently selected as one of the Global Wind Energy Council’s Women in Wind Global Ambassadors, has a wide range of responsibilities – from managing and organizing all office operations to designing our social impact program in Japan.
For these women, strong role models and mentors throughout their professional journeys have been key to their success.
Linda: Female managers and mentors have played a significant role in influencing my career path. Over my 20+ year career span, I’ve stayed in touch with them. I’ve always recognized and appreciated the value in my career enough to nurture those relationships.
Andrea: At Invenergy, I’m very grateful to have had the mentorship of two significant female managers, both very smart, thoughtful and accomplished. They have taught me so much and have consistently advocated for me.
Michiyo: At my first job after university, the HR Manager always encouraged me to push myself and try no matter what. His motto was, “Nothing is impossible for women.”
Barbara: My current supervisors – Paul Abitante, Senior Vice President and Country Manager at the Mexico City Office, and Carlos Rodriguez, Vice President of Transmission – have been key in my professional development. They have both trusted and empowered me since day one. It is so valuable as a professional to have supervisors who challenge you every single day to strive for and achieve your best.
We all face challenges in our lives and our careers. It’s how we deal with them that counts.
Linda: The biggest challenges I’ve faced are: 1) how to deal with those adjectives that women often hear when they are trying to lead; 2) reminding myself not to listen to that little voice telling me to stand down; and 3) ensuring that any team I am a part of or leading is diverse.
Monica: In many parts of the world – including in Latin America - as a woman, it’s hard to see a clear path to grow professionally. We need to continue to break down barriers and promote a culture that supports the advancement of women.
Andrea: Once I started at Invenergy, I became a mother, which was a new challenge. I nursed my son, so I spent many hours on the floors of public bathrooms, in the back of rental cars, and in mother’s rooms throughout the country. Balancing a career and parenthood continues to be a challenge, which is why I advocated for and am grateful for Invenergy’s new family leave and workplace flexibility policies.
Barbara: As a Venezuelan migrant, when I came to Mexico in 2015, I didn’t have much knowledge of the Mexican energy market, grid, or even renewables. I spent a few years studying and learning, and it’s amazing to see where I am today and what I’ve accomplished through hard work, focus, and dedication.
And all these women are excited to be in a high-growth industry filled with professional development opportunities. They’ve shared some advice for women working in sustainable energy or thinking about a career in the industry.
Monica: Don’t give up! It may take you longer, or the path may be a bit more challenging, but don’t let that deter you. Also, there is always room for improvement; take comments from others as feedback and advice that pushes you to improve and succeed, rather than as criticism that knocks you down. You will be better and stronger as a result.
Andrea: It’s important to work hard and take pride in the work that you do; you never know when you might be working with or for someone who will ultimately help you pursue your next move. It’s crucial to have a demonstrated interest in the work that you are pursuing, whether that’s through internships, professional affiliations, or networking events.
Barbara: My advice is don’t be afraid to deepen your knowledge, pursue your goals, and go after what you want. That determination and drive will make the ultimate difference.
Michiyo: All it takes is one person to open the door for many. Don’t be afraid to be the one.
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