GWNET brings you the 22nd 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 mentee, Ketty Aldy Odero, Senior Lab Analyst at Burn Manufacturing in Kenya
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I am an R&D Specialist in the energy sector. I have a background in analytical chemistry and I currently work as a Senior Research and Development Analyst at Burn Manufacturing.
What I love most about my work is being able to learn about new technologies in the clean cooking sector, successfully running projects and contributing to product development through testing new products, and giving valuable feedback.
Apart from that, I love the ability to collaborate with my teammates towards a goal and going through the shortcomings and successes.
2) What were your goals when you started working in clean cooking? How have these evolved?
Initially, my goal was to work in the energy sector and create impact, which I didn’t know how to do. However, for the past two years, I have been in the clean cooking sector, and my goals have been to add value to the work I do, giving valuable insights that enable the development of new clean cooking solutions that give value to the consumer and create positive impact in communities. Recently, I am also learning to be a voice for change.
3) What are the opportunities for clean cooking in your country?
There is an opportunity for biofuels, however there is need to ensure affordability of the fuels such as bio-ethanol among others. With the recent launch of the Kenya Ethanol Cooking Fuel Industry Masterplan spearheaded by the Government of Kenya ministries, I believe this is possible.
There are also opportunities for electricity as a clean cooking alternative, with a majority of Kenyans now connected both on and off grid.
For me, it has been navigating the industry and having a voice as a youth and a woman. I have overcome this by learning to speak up and be listened to and sometimes repeating myself to put my point across.
To be a voice of change in the energy sector and be well equipped with skills and knowledge that will help me support other women in the energy industry. The program has offered me support in terms of being matched with a mentor who has been very supportive, and the knowledge-transfer webinars have also been very informative.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the clean cooking sector?
“Choose to challenge”. I believe women are best placed to further the clean cooking transition.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.