What sort of challenges did you encounter in entering the sector? Can you tell us about an achievement wherein you overcame such a challenge?
I found several challenges. However, there are two that stand out. The first one is job opportunities. In Argentina we still have job offers which say that only men can apply (men exclusively) and interviewers never miss the chance to ask if you have children or if you are planning to have children.
The second issue takes place when you are in your work place and your opinion is dismissed only because you are a woman. Of course, not everybody is to blame, but it is a common situation: When asked on a technical matter, a man’s voice would be considered to be more important than yours.
If you had to pick one key issue facing women in the wind power sector, what would it be and why?
If I had to choose a key factor, it would be maternity leave. That is a matter that cuts across work in general, not only in the sector. In my country, women have three-month paid maternity leave, while men have only two working days. That difference leads to many inequalities. In the first place, employers choose men over women because they have a shorter leave. Secondly, it promotes role differences according to gender; that is “men’s priority is work, women’s priority are children.” Finally, it does not help men to create a closer bond with their kids. Some legislation encourages “family leave,” where both parents (regardless of gender or family composition) have the same amount of time to be with their children. I strongly believe this is the path we should pursue.
Finally, what do you hope to achieve as a participant of Women in Wind Global Leadership Program? How will you contribute to the next generation of female leaders in the sector?
My country has several challenges to overcome: an infrastructure with a radial form which benefits its capital and its surroundings and leaves other regions behind, as well as energy market policies which are associated to ever-changing regulations.
The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program is an excellent chance to learn how other countries were able to manage and solve these issues and to discuss the best alternatives for Argentina. I would like to specialize in planning, combining my technical skills (related to electrical designing and power systems) to regulation and management.
In addition, I would like to seize this opportunity to investigate gender policies round the world and perform comparative studies. I think this helps to exercise our mind, to see that everyday there are new and better ways to deal with gender inequalities.