An energy expert has called for more women to get involved in the sector after research from 2019 shows that just 14% of the energy workforce are women.
Leicestershire business owner Maria Bastian, who heads up two of the industry’s leading energy businesses, chooses to challenge the status quo, encouraging more women to join what is currently a male-dominated sector.
As managing director for both Leicester based company Fischer Future Heat, a business known for bringing electric and sustainable heating to the UK, and for energy provider Outfox The Market, who recently finished at the top of the Which? annual energy survey for customer satisfaction, Maria is quite literally the leading lady.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Maria is keen to spread the message that the world of energy does not always have to be one that is dominated by men.
“It’s difficult to convey and demonstrate to women and young girls that energy isn’t a viable option for them when they are simply unaware of the variety of the opportunities available to them.
“But when you dig that little bit deeper, there are a whole host of rewarding and exciting careers for women who choose to work in the energy industry,” she said.
As part of a husband-and-wife duo, Maria was, and continues to be, passionate about creating an equal and diverse business.
“It was crucial to both Keith and I to work as part of an equal partnership, where gender doesn’t come into play at all, as that isn’t what’s important – getting the job done is.”
In her approach to diversity and inclusivity, Maria has always advocated closing the prevailing gender pay gap and is proud that Outfox the Market remains an equitable place of work for either gender, and more importantly, is pleased that she has no gender pay gap within her organisation.
Priding herself on researching the industries newest improvements, and leading on business strategy, Maria does see more women getting involved in specific roles within research, sales, and engineering, as well as managerial and directorial positions.
“In order for this to happen, I believe that we need to be teaching girls (and boys) from a younger age that a job isn’t defined by gender.
“People within the industry should be visiting schools and hosting talks to educate the next generation about the opportunities and possibilities within industries that they may not have otherwise considered,” explains Maria.
With both businesses and homeowners looking to reduce waste and act more sustainably, Fischer Future Heat are empowering customers to choose the right heating system for them, whilst having a positive impact on the environment.
“As a business owner, it is important for us that we do our part to educate the energy sector and the future visionists behind it,” said Maria.
“It is incredible to work in an industry that is helping to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, and with a Future Homes Standard being introduced in the UK by 2025, the energy sector is becoming even more exciting, as we look to improve homes and reduce our individual environmental impact longer term.”
With that in mind, combined with a constant and busy development for the industry as a whole, there is a need for more people to help and contribute than ever before.
“Although women are currently a minority in the energy sector, I encourage everybody, irrespective of gender, to consider a career in energy. And together, let’s choose to challenge, close the skills gap and break down gender barriers within the workplace,” says Maria.