Smart Energy Voices- Episode 81

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 81

Women In Smart Energy Series: Kulsoom Khan, Kate Peterson, and Ibolya Yolas


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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, Debra Chanil hosts a panel discussion featuring some of Smart Energy Decisions’ Women in Smart Energy (WISE) Award winners. These women share their paths in energy and sustainability, achievements, and continuing growth as women in the energy industry.


You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • The importance of collaboration [01:52]
  • Going outside of your comfort zone [06:12]
  • Creating allowable paths  [10:38]
  • Mentorship programs [14:33]
  • Women in leadership [21:49]


An environment of collaboration

The most fruitful collaboration requires vulnerability. While knowledge, tactics, and experience are essential, stepping back and asking for clarification helps realign a collaborative effort. Asking clarifying questions is a great skill and allows others to ask what they may have been too hesitant to ask otherwise. 

People collaborate in different ways. Some are more comfortable writing, while others feel comfortable in a large group setting. To facilitate the environments needed for ideal communication, companies can encourage various atmospheres, such as smaller or one-on-one meetings. Creating these opportunities ensures that everybody’s voice can be heard.

Two types of mentorship

Formal mentorship is a great way to pass down information to younger generations and improve retention. Non-structured mentorship can also be valuable. That happens when people meet for a common goal, with one person having more experience than the other. These mentorships can be beneficial for years. Women need good role models hey can look up to for guidance. The benefit is mutual, as mentors can also learn from their mentees.


Women rising to leadership

Women are often expected to take on an invisible load of household chores and responsibilities at home without receiving due credit. Unfortunately, this translates to the workplace as well. Women tend to say yes to menial tasks that aren’t necessarily career drivers, like being asked to take meeting notes, schedule meetings, or send follow-up emails. These are all things that need to be done but aren’t going to lead to significant career growth.

Saying no can be difficult for women who don’t want to be perceived as aggressive. However, always saying yes means that menial tasks can replace what would have been career-building opportunities. Learning to laugh it off or disseminating the load can make the situation less awkward and more positive.

Connect with Kulsoom Khan

Connect with Kate Peterson

Connect with Ibolya Yolas


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