We host record-breaking Leadership Conference for Women in Energy

By Constance Clouston

On November 2 and 3, more than 300 women and men gathered in Boston for EUCI’s Leadership Conference for Women in Energy, which was proudly hosted by National Grid.  EUCI has held this conference previously in other parts of the country, and this northeast session broke all EUCI conference attendance records.

The goal of this event was to help professionals advance their careers in a traditionally male industry by providing insights into key energy business trends and skills for personal and professional development.  Many women energy industry leaders, and male leaders, shared their industry knowledge, strategies, and experiences on how to accelerate positive organizational change and personal growth.

Marcy Reed, president, National Grid, Massachusetts, opened the conference with a keynote about creating the next generation of women leaders in our industry, a subject about which she is very passionate and works hard to address.

She commented, “To create the next generation of female leaders in energy, we must engage in collaborative efforts with similarly minded organizations to find, encourage, and support these leaders. Our industry must actively recruit and retain a new generation of engineers and other STEM professionals as we face unprecedented energy challenges.”

John Bruckner, senior vice president, Operations and Engineering, weighed in as a member of “The Men’s Perspective” panel.  John underscored the importance of creating opportunities for women to grow in the industry, and further emphasized the need for National Grid and other energy companies to completely diversify the workforce to better reflect and serve the communities where they operate.

A host of other industry leaders offered perspectives on a range of energy and leadership topics during other keynote addresses and panel sessions and interactive group discussions.  There also were many opportunities for relationship building and networking.

Mary Ellen Paravalos, director, Performance and Strategy for the FERC Jurisdiction, was instrumental in bringing the EUCI conference to the Northeast for the first time and arranging for National Grid to host the event.  As a board member of New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) and an engineer, it was especially important to her.

“The fact that we had record-breaking attendance at this conference clearly shows that women are eager to participate in shaping the future of our industry, and I’m so proud National Grid supports events such as this that demonstrate the company’s commitment to developing women leaders.”

National Grid had a great presence at the event, with over 70 engaged employees attending.  A core planning team coordinated the company’s presence at the conference, including the always popular bucket truck photo booth, which was a huge hit.

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And while we’re on the topic of women leaders in energy…

On November 15, 2016, energy and environmental professionals from all over New England joined together at the Algonquin Club of Boston for NEWIEE’s Annual Meeting and Fall Fête.

The evening began with a packed room of NEWIEE members at the organization’s 2016 Annual Meeting.  Mary Ellen, who serves as Programming Committee Chair, noted it was wonderful to have so many engaged NEWIEE members contribute to the annual meeting discussion, giving the NEWIEE Board and Advisory Board great feedback and ideas.

The Annual Meeting was followed by the Fall Fête where over 125 members and nonmembers, women and men alike, gathered for a fun and lively evening of hors d’oeuvres and conversation on current issues in energy and the environment.  The event was attended by experienced leaders and young and aspiring professionals, who were able to chat on industry leading topics in this relaxed atmosphere.

“Events such as these are great for making industry connections that help women leaders and aspiring leaders to be successful professionally and make an impact on the energy industry.”  She added, “I’m so pleased to see women at all levels of seniority within the industry interacting, sharing knowledge and experiences and supporting one another.  This is one way we can develop the next generation of women leaders in energy and help them to succeed.

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