GWNET brings you the 10th instalment of the “Meet the Women in the Energy Transition” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of GWNET’s 3/2020 Mentoring Programme. This mentoring programme is made up of 26 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from over 20 countries. Meet GWNET mentee, María del Sol Muñoz Mortera, a country manager working at NATURA EST in Chile.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I am passionate about being able to contribute to and develop a better world for future generations. I enjoy my work since it is the best way in which I can influence a sustainable, cleaner and more equitable world. It is important in the energy sector to be able to set a standard where renewable energy is the priority and where the inclusion of women is a way forward.
2) What were your goals when you started working in sustainable energy? Have these evolved?
When I started in energy I started in the oil sector developing methods to restore contaminated sites. Later I enrolled in renewable energy on the technical, environmental and social side of project implementation and in my current stage I am in management and business development in another country (Chile), trying to develop a market to continue consulting on infrastructure projects, but mainly renewable energy.
So my goals were clear from the start, helping the environment and making the world more sustainable.
3) How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the professional goals you set out for the year?
The challenges set for 2020 were great and they were to open a market within the energy sector in Chile. However, it has been difficult to carry this out due to the country’s political system. So far everything has stopped, so I have tried setting new goals and challenges and I’m moving forward according to the new rules of the country. It is not easy because we are constantly changing.
But the important thing is to be resilient at this stage.
4) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy growth in your country?
The opportunities within renewable energy in Chile are great because the country has set itself great goals to increase electricity generation through renewable sources, within its energy matrix. It is worth mentioning that Chile is one of the top 10 most attractive countries to invest in clean energy in the world, for which there is great opportunity for development within the sector.
5) What challenges have you faced in the sector? Can you tell us how you overcame (or are overcoming) this challenge(s)?
The challenges that I have faced have been constant, it is a chain. The first is to face the gender gap in the sector – since 90% of the people I collaborate with are male, there are not many female role models.
Renewable energy depends on foreign investment, which is another important factor for overcoming culture (sometimes influencing it positively or negatively) and I have tried to overcome all this by being faithful to my principles and professionalism, demonstrating with facts, with proposals and solutions, and demonstrating the good work that I develop.
6) Why did you join the GWNET Mentorship Programme? What do you hope to achieve?
Entering the program will give me many tools to be able to face challenges more effectively. Additionally, to have as mentors the leading women with all their experience in the sector is a great gift, and sharing with people who have the same principles will make it possible to empower my professional development, trying to create more opportunities for future generations along the way.
7) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
I say to the new generations of young people who want to join renewable energy, I encourage you to do it. I know that nothing is easy, and this will not be either, but it takes small efforts to change paradigms, to find solutions and to make a change in the world, small changes in all people, will make a better world.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.