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Women in Wind Q&A: Anna Diedrichkeit (Germany) 

 

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

Anna is the team leader for Offshore Product Management, which defines & executes competitive product/technology strategy for GE Renewable Offshore Wind. Before joining Offshore wind in 2017, she was Senior Product Manager for 3MW models in Onshore Wind, which included the development of the 3.X-137, the 3.2-103 and customization of the platform for regional use. Prior to that, Anna completed the Renewables Energy Leadership Program where she had high impact roles in various functions, and worked in Brazil for some time. Anna is based in Hamburg/Germany, and has a Degree in Business Management & Engineering from the University of Applied Science in Muenster, Germany.

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

As little girl I watched some kids’ movies on the TV, illustrating the impact of climate change to our environment and us. I was deeply touched, and it had a big influence on me. 

Since then I have wanted to make a change by working in the renewable energy industry. At the beginning I was honestly more curious about solar, but then my journey started in the wind industry, for which I am thankful until today as it is an amazing technology.

Tell us about your expertise and passion in the sector. For you, what is the next “space to watch” in renewable energy?

The wind business contains many smart, energetic and open-minded people, with whom it is great to work. The majority want to drive change and challenge each other to bring the collective to the next level. Nobody would have expected five years ago that merging markets and the extreme, big product dimensions would arrive so quickly. And now look…! Onshore has >5MW and offshore even >10MW wind turbines.  

The next technology steps will very likely be in the area of digital analytics and robotics, which will enable further increase in reliability, performance, etc., and thus LCOE reduction.

What sort of challenges  did you encounter in entering the sector? Can you tell us about an achievement wherein you overcame such a challenge?

The wind industry is globally operating and still growing, which means that you automatically work within a big diversity of languages and cultures, and often even remotely. Sometimes this can be very challenging, and I have also learned from some of those experiences. But in the end increasing your cultural awareness, finding common ground, being open-minded and leveraging digital applications (such as video conference) help to reduce those challenges. I do enjoy this diversity and it is just great exploring different cultures, food, way of living, and so on.

My wish is to help my mentee with her personal development, expanding her skills and competencies by facilitating self-reflection on her strength and development areas. I believe that helping a few women is like a domino effect to a broader group of women and future female leaders.

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

It is difficult to just pick one, as various aspects impact women in the wind power sector or industrial sectors in general. From my experience, the mindset and system bias for women and men do unfortunately still underline the traditional set-up, and so challenge the growth of women’s careers or the engagement of men in family life. And those biases could be both external and self-inflicted. Therefore, both men and women need to change our thinking, and together challenge our systems to adapt.

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

My wish is to help my mentee with her personal development, expanding her skills and competencies by facilitating self-reflection on her strength and development areas. I believe that helping a few women is like a domino effect to a broader group of women and future female leaders.

Let us know your reactions or thoughts on Anna’s interview at womeninwind@gwec.net!

On the Blog

Best practices for gender diversity at industry events

On the occasion of COP25’s Gender Day, 14 wind and renewable energy associations have committed to uphold best practices for gender diversity at their future industry events. The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program published a guide of ‘Best Practices for Gender Diversity at Industry Events’ today to empower and showcase female leadership in the wind energy sector.

Read More »

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