Genevieve Goulding Women in Clean Cooking Mentorship Program

GWNET brings you the 8th instalment of the “Meet the Women in Clean Cooking” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of the Clean Cooking Mentorship Program. This program is made up of 30 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from over 15 countries. Meet Clean Cooking mentor, Genevieve Goulding, Programme Director at Shortlist Professionals in Kenya.


1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?

As a program director with Shortlist, I manage our Talent Drives service branch. We work on a range of projects, from massive recruitment drives for youth in the clean energy space to initiatives that support women-owned business development in the Kenyan SME ecosystem, in partnership with foundations, governments, and other social-impact investors.

What I love most about what I do is how I get to meet and learn from inspiring people from diverse backgrounds on a daily basis! That, and the ability to contribute to people’s career development in meaningful ways is what keeps me charged and motivated.

 

2) What were your goals when you started working in clean cooking? How have these evolved?

Clean cooking is a key sector in the work we do under Shortlist’s Off-Grid Talent Initiative (OGTI). The innovations in the industry, from technology to customer delivery models, offer a wide range of career opportunities from engineering to digital talent to sales. We’re working to expand the network of clean cooking company partners in OGTI to offer youth across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) the opportunity to launch their careers in this exciting space.

 

3) What are the opportunities for clean cooking in your country?

Clean cooking is a rapidly growing sector, especially in Kenya.  The range of formal employment opportunities available in the space, and the opportunity to work with dynamic companies that are constantly innovating, offers exciting career pathways – particularly for youth. 

 
 
4) What challenges have you faced in the sector? Can you tell us how you overcame (or are overcoming) this challenge(s)?
 
I’d say a main challenge faced, particularly in the recent graduate space, is raising awareness on the range of opportunities available for employment in the clean cooking sector. In a lot of conversations I’ve had with young professionals, they’re simply unaware of the incredibly diverse opportunities to leverage their skills in things like digital applications, design engineering, or business development in clean cooking.  We’re working to overcome this challenge through outreach initiatives focused particularly on young women to let them know about the job potential of this sector. 

 

5) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the clean cooking sector?

Put yourself out there and find out what’s going on in the industry! Sign yourself up for industry events, learning webinars, and platforms like GWNET. Learn what’s happening in terms of trends, find out who the main players are driving innovation and change in the sector, educate yourself on the kind of careers available, and do some online recon: check out company websites for employment opportunities, or come to platforms like Shortlist to see positions that are available. 

Start building your network by introducing yourself at industry event meet and greets, “cold calls” on Linkedin, and signing up for virtual groups active in the space. You’d be surprised at the range of talent that this sector is looking for – identify your passion within it and go for it!

 


Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here

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 the Mentor Datasheet.

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