A seat at the table
How 6 women leaders made it to the top
In our interviews with leading women in the P&U sector for this report, some of the themes that came through were:
- The value of contributing a different perspective
- Lack of female role models
- Determination to improve things for the next generation.
We look forward to speaking with more exceptional women during the next phase of our research. If you serve on a board or senior management team of a large P&U company and would like to take part, or nominate someone to take part, please contact us.
- Stephanie Hazell
Group Strategy and Corporate Development Director
MA, Oxford University. Hazell began her career with PwC before joining Orange in 2004, where she worked her way up from senior strategy manager to principal. She joined Virgin as a partner in 2011 for two years, until she assumed her current position at National Grid in 2013.
“For me, the most compelling reason for diversity is that we need to access the best talent. It's an enormously competitive world out there and if we're not getting the best talent, we can't compete.”
- Julia Johnson
Founder of Women's Emerging Issues Policy Forum (WEIPF)
Board member of FirstEnergy and NorthWestern Energy
Juris Doctorate, University of Florida School Of Law, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of Florida. In 1992, Johnson became the youngest person and the first African-American woman appointed to the Florida Public Service Commission, where she served until 1999 (including as the Commission’s chair from 1997 to 1999). She joined the board of FirstEnergy in 2011 when it merged with Allegheny Energy, where she had been a board member since 2003. She has served on the board of NorthWestern Energy since 2004.
“I'm not concerned with why people appoint me to a board. Put me in the briar patch: if it's needed, let's get it done.”
- Gayle Lanier
Senior VP and Chief Customer Officer
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, North Carolina State University. Lanier began her career in various engineering roles at Data General, before moving into management. She joined Nortel Knowledge Services in 1991 and served as vice president and general manager of before moving to Progress Energy, where she became vice president of corporate services. Lanier assumed her current position when Progress and Duke merged in 2012.
“At Duke, we need diverse teams more than ever as we get more personal with customers and move from the meter into the home.”
- Marie-José Nadeau
Chair of the World Energy Council (WEC) and Executive Vice President
of Corporate Affairs, Hydro-Québec
Bachelor of Law and Masters in Public Law, Ottawa University. Nadeau practiced law for the Canadian government (1980-87) and held various strategic positions in the government before moving to Hydro-Québec in 1993. She has been a member of Hydro-Québec’s leadership team for 20 years, and was elected the first female Chair of WEC in 2013.
“We need to get to the point where top positions are seen as accessible by women and not only for the exceptional women. The presence of women in the boardroom is a concrete demonstration of the organization's core values as well as the seriousness of the gender diversity goals.”
- Susanne Nies
Head of Unit Energy Policy Power Generation
PhD in Political Sciences, Slavistics and Romanistics from Bonn University, Germany. Nies started off in academic research positions, including the director of international programs at the Paris-based Center for International Studies and Research (2002-2004) and independent think tank IFRI (2004-2010). She joined EURELECTRIC in 2010.
“Recently, I was at a conference in Berlin that opened with “Dear Dr Nies, dear gentlemen”. We need to change that for the next generation.”
- Roslina Zainal
Vice President of Planning
Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree, Lakehead University, Canada and MBA, University of New England, Australia. Zainal began her career as an electrical engineer for Lembaga Letrik Negara Tanah Malayu (the National Electricity Board of the States of Malaya) (1985-1991). She then spent two years in the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Office before joining TNB as a Division Manager in 1993. She assumed her current position in 2009.
“The culture of Tenaga has always been very open and receptive to female leaders. We have always had women on the management team.”
Read related articles from the Index of women in power and utilities.