Ahead of International Women’s Day, and coinciding with STEPS Engineer’s Week, Energia Group is profiling some of the women working in the Energy sector highlighting the variety of roles that support the group as it continues to play a leading role in the decarbonisation of the energy system across the island of Ireland.

Energia Group has a long-standing record of working in collaboration with community groups to enhance local areas and to benefit local people. Rosy Billingham works with Energia Group’s renewables team as their community engagement and communications manager.

L-R: Rachael O’Boyle, operations engineer in the Renewables Operations Department; Susan Glascott, health, safety & environment manager; Rosy Billingham, community engagement and communications manager; Sara Tinsley, planning and environmental consents manager; and Annnabel FitzGerald, ESG & corporate communications manager with Energia Group.

Renewable energy projects

Billingham supports the group's significant pipeline of renewable energy projects from the early stages of development through to the construction and operation of wind farms, solar farms, battery storage and green hydrogen production facilities. She said: “My role is about keeping local communities and stakeholders informed about our portfolio of exciting renewable energy projects.

"The variety that comes with the role is what I enjoy most. I organise school visits to our wind farms which is really a brilliant way of highlighting the different roles involved in renewable energy.

"I also work with the wider engineering team to host public information events about our projects meeting local councillors, residents and business owners to update them on projects we might have in their area.

"There are so many different jobs in the energy sector, engineering roles or indeed roles like mine that are important to the delivery of some of our most critical renewable energy infrastructure, the possibilities for all young people interested in pursuing a career in engineering related sectors are limitless.”

Annabel FitzGerald, the group’s ESG and corporate communications manager, holds a degree in environmental science and a master's in business sustainability from the University of Limerick as well as a master's with a focus on carbon footprinting from Queen's University Belfast.

Sustainability accountability

She plays a leading role in the group’s sustainability journey. She said: “From a young age I have been passionate about protecting our environment and in my role I strive to achieve this through ensuring sustainability accountability and ethical practices are embedded in our business.  

"Our ESG efforts really are a vital component of who we are and how we do business. We have aligned our responsible business activities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals demonstrating our commitment to the communities in which we operate and serve, our employees and to climate action.”

For girls considering a career in STEM she highlighted: “There are many STEM related roles in the energy sector and many exciting career pathways available. Pursuing a career in this sector is not just about diversity, it is an investment in creativity, innovation and building a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

Sara Tinsley, planning and environmental consents manager with Energia Group, holds a degree in environmental planning from Queen’s University Belfast. Tinsley said: “I work closely with our teams of engineering experts to co-ordinate project designs and ensure compliance with various planning procedures. The different projects that I am involved in are contributing to a cleaner, greener energy future for all helping the company to achieve our climate action goals. 

Reduce the carbon intensity

"By the end of this decade, we plan to generate three times as much renewable energy from onshore wind and solar projects and reduce the carbon intensity of our electricity generation by 50% compared to 2019. I love that in my role I am helping to make a positive impact as we tackle climate change.”

Her advice to girls considering a career in engineering related sectors is: “Reach out to someone you know that works in the sector and also to STEM related organisations. Many organisations will have student membership opportunities. This is a great way to build a network, learn from experts and avail of work experience opportunities that can lead you on an exciting and rewarding career path.”

Rachael O’Boyle, operations engineer in the Renewables Operations Department, holds a master's degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Queen's University Belfast and participated in Energia group’s graduate programme.

O’Boyle said: “As an engineer in the renewable energy sector, I believe that dedication, innovation and a deep commitment to sustainability are paramount.

"I have experienced first-hand the importance of collaboration when working on infrastructural projects like wind farms, and so being able to work as part of a team is essential.

"Learning and growing as an engineer comes from the wealth of experienced professional you interact with every day. I am very passionate about encouraging women into STEM related roles.

"Promoting women in STEM is not just about diversity and inclusivity; it’s about unlocking the full potential of a team. By fostering an environment where all voices are heard and valued, we can drive greater innovation and accelerate progress towards a more sustainable world.”

Health and safety remains a number one priority for Energia Group. Susan Glascott, a University College Cork graduate and Tipperary native, has worked in the company for seven years as the renewables operations health, safety and environment manager.

In her role, Glascott works closely with the engineering and operations teams to ensure that work is completed to the highest health and safety standards in order to protect the people involved and to protect the environment that the work is being carried out in.

Exciting and innovative sector

She explained: “The sector itself is so broad and there are many opportunities for career development and continued learning. Young women should not be intimidated by potentially ending up in a male dominated industry and instead embrace the opportunity to grow their careers in an exciting and innovative sector contributing to tackling challenges like climate change and energy security”.

In recent year’s Energia Group has introduced two women’s health policies, pregnancy loss and fertility treatment and a manager's guidance document to support women through the menopause forming part of the company’s broader strategy of supporting all employees through every life stage.

The company also provide free period care products to employees in all our offices through our partnership with Riley. Riley is a female-founded Irish business which supplies eco-friendly period-care products. These measures being implemented are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth.

If Energy moves you, then join us. Discover career opportunities at Energia Group www.energiagroup.com/careers