GWNET brings you the 16th 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 2/2019 Mentoring Programme. This mentoring programme contains 22 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from over 15 countries. Meet GWNET mentor, Paula Mints. Paula is the Founder and Chief Market Research Analyst for the global solar market research firm SPV Market Research. She began her solar market research career in 1997 with Strategies Unlimited. In 2005 she left Strategies Unlimited for Navigant where she continued her practice as a Director in Navigant’s Energy Practice until October 2012, when she founded SPV Market Research.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
At heart I am a researcher. Research is a creative, investigative discipline that relies on a specific methodology to accurately size the solar industry as well as to identify trends overtime. I love how the rationale and the creative marry to tell the story of the solar industry.
2) What were your goals when you started working in sustainable energy? Have these evolved?
When I started at Strategies Unlimited decades ago, I simply wanted to use what I learned working towards my MBA to focus on, and analyse, one industry. I wanted to know one industry well, from its technology through to its markets. I fell in love with the solar industry without meaning to – with the potential it has to change lives.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy growth in your country?
Despite our current administration, solar and other renewable technologies are the trend in the US. There will be opportunities for people to work in all aspects of sustainable energy.
4) What challenges have you faced in the sector? Can you tell us how you overcame (or are overcoming) these challenges?
When I started working, and honestly even today, the industry was dominated by men. I had to work hard to establish myself as a serious analyst. It wasn’t easy – I had a huge leg up because of my mentor Bob Johnson. Initially I was accepted because I worked for him. After he retired I worked hard to be accepted on the basis of my own work. I did this by publishing – a lot, and by speaking – a lot, by producing works of value, by giving back and by sitting on committees, etc.
5) Why did you join the GWNET Mentorship Programme? What do you hope to achieve?
I hope to have a chance to pass on my experience and help another woman successfully achieve her goals.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
Solar and other renewables are the future – this is where the jobs will be and there will be plenty of jobs. Pursue your goals. Publish. Work hard. Speak. Reach out and lift someone up.
If you are interested in knowing more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes, this comprehensive article outlines our work in this area.
Become a mentor – what’s in it for you?
GWNET is looking for senior professionals who are eager to make a difference and have a positive impact on a younger woman’s career in the energy sector. With the ever-changing dynamics of the business fields, digitalisation, knowledge and knowledge sharing has become more important than ever. As a mentor, you get the opportunity to give something valuable back to more junior professionals and to expand your own knowledge through your 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 the Mentor Datasheet.