The Women in Energy Empowerment Mentoring Programme sat down with Miliswa Mlokoti, one of this year’s mentors, to chat about her journey in renewable energy and the challenges and opportunities in the sector. Miliswa is a Senior Operations Manager at Globeleq in South Africa.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I enjoy formulating and executing business strategies. I also love leading teams as this grants me an opportunity to empower others and also to learn from them.
Furthermore, I love giving back to local communities in support of our economic development obligations, specifically, being involved in educational initiatives to lobby our youth into the renewable sector at an early age and being active in industry sector professional bodies through networking and/or working groups.
2) What were your goals when you started working in the energy sector? What are your goals today?
When I started working in the energy sector my main goal was to be part of the delivery of clean energy to our communities.
I have since learnt that there is more than that, there is a contribution required from each energy professional in terms of the Just Energy Transition initiative. One needs to be a Change Agent and that’s my goal in this sector and my engagements are a testament to that.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy in your country?
Opportunities are vast, the government and the private sector are embarking more and more on sustainable energy programs and initiatives thus opening up more opportunities for the country.
My challenge was around understanding the technologies as a newcomer in the renewable sector. I had to empower myself by undergoing the necessary training interventions.
The other challenge I faced was bias from my male counterparts as a female who was site/plant-based. It took a few leading roles for them to realize that I am capable of doing the job as expected and even better.
I will be supporting my mentee through information sharing on industry technologies (specifically the ones I have worked on), on-job coaching (including a bit of training on soft skills) if there is an opportunity to do so, and on further studies, if they are busy with one. Also, I hope to introduce my mentee to networking opportunities within the industry.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
Empower yourself, be prepared to work hard and gain valuable experience in the process, be prepared to join a dynamic environment (agility is key) and, be part of the sector’s networking groups so that you can learn from those that have been around for a while already.
Become a Mentor – What’s in it for You?
As a mentor, you get the opportunity to give something valuable back to more junior professionals and to expand your own knowledge through the mentees’ perspective.
Mentoring will contribute to personal and professional development for both you and your mentee, as well as, shaping the direction of future generations within your field of expertise. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor in one of GWNET’s mentoring programmes (which involves approx. 1 – 1.5 hours of engagement per month plus optional participation in knowledge-transfer webinars), kindly fill in our Mentor Datasheet.
Stay tuned for updates on the participants and the programme.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.