Women in Wind 2020 Q&A: Kasia Lindegaard

 

 

The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program sat down with Kasia Lindegaard, one of this year’s Mentors, to chat about her pathway to renewable energy and issues facing women in the wind sector. 

Kasia is the Head of Marketing & New Product Concepts at SCADA International, where she is responsible for global marketing and communication strategies including branding and implementation and development of new product concept across multiple renewable sources as wind, solar PV and hydro. Kasia is responsible for all business segments, from hardware and software to consulting, and brand recognition and value-adding is a key in all her strategies.
 
Before joining the renewable industry and SCADA International, Kasia gained 15 years of experience from the ingredients and food industry, having global roles within Corporate Strategy, M&A, Business Development and Marketing. Kasia is based in Silkeborg/Denmark, and has a degree in Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Economics and Business Administration from Aarhus School of Business and is also an IPMA certified project manager. 
 
 

How did you first become interested in renewable energy and joining the clean energy transition?

Working in the food industry for several years, I experienced an increased focus on sustainability, which is largely driven by consumers who are still getting more and more concerned about the impact that food consumption has on our climate. So the idea of working around a mindset of limiting our global footprint was something that engaged me long before I joined the renewable industry. Working in a company that actively supports energy producers to utilize their assets, and thereby produce more sustainable energy, was a natural next step for me.             
 

Tell us about your expertise and passion in the sector. How has this business area changed over the course of your career so far? For you, what is the next “space to watch” in renewable energy?

As a marketing professional, I’m always interested in telling the right stories that will catch people’s attention, and I think the wind industry as a whole has many exciting stories to tell.  The wind industry has been on a journey consisting of assets producing green energy to becoming highly specialized energy producers, with a continuous focus on optimization. My passion lies in enabling those stories to spark change in people’s opinions and their actions, and in this way give my small contribution to making renewable energy the preferred choice.

I would say, the next trend to watch is definitely the storage of energy. As soon as we have control and perfect utilization of wind energy storage, that is when we can really make a difference in the production of green energy and start to expand to geographical areas where renewables have not yet gained a foothold.

You need to find a way to show people that your brand as a leader is not defined by your gender, but by the results you deliver and the impact you have on the organization.

 

What sort of challenges did you encounter in entering the sector? 

Looking at the origins of the wind industry, it has been driven and directed mainly by people with a technical background. To this day, the industry is still a male-dominated industry. There is a tendency to focus largely on technical features and less on the more soft aspects of green energy. It has become evident to me that you need to have some shared understanding to benefit from the synergies that come from bringing together this diversity in thinking. 

What I’ve learned, coming from a non-technical context, is that it actually just takes demonstration of results in order to prove that qualification other than technical also impacts the bottom line of the company.

If you had to pick one key issue facing women in the wind power sector, what would it be and why? 

Women might have some prejudices against companies operating in the wind industry as being heavily male-dominated, and might feel reluctant to seek career opportunities within this sector  especially since there is a lack of high-profile female role models in the wind industry. And I see this issue as a problem not only for these women, but the entire industry is missing out as well. 

In my perspective, women often have an interest in and understanding of sustainability in general. The wind industry would therefore be a perfect fit for many of them, and could truly benefit from their perspectives and contributions. I think the path to overcoming this issue and encouraging more women to seek a job in this sector is showing  more examples of how you can be successful as a woman in the wind industry and, at the same time, make a difference within sustainability. 

Finally, what do you hope to achieve as a mentor in the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program? How will you contribute to the next generation of female leaders in the sector?

I want to show young women starting out in the sector that you don’t have to choose between career and family. It’s not an either-or situation. Likewise, you don’t have to suppress your gender to be taken seriously as a professional. You need to find a way to show people that your brand as a leader is not defined by your gender, but by the results you deliver and the impact you have on the organization.

My goal is to inspire and encourage these young women to believe in themselves by sharing my stories, my successes, the challenges I’ve faced, and what I’ve learned along the way in my career. But I also believe that I can learn something in return from this experience. These women give me new aspects by trying to see things from the perspective of a younger generation. And by participating in their journey, I’ve started to reflect on my own motivations and passions. I think it’s always healthy for us to develop and grow, as persons and as professionals. I hope the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program will help me do just that.

 

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