GWNET brings you the 5th instalment of the “Meet the Women in the SICA Energy Transition” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of the Women in the SICA Energy Transition Mentoring Programme. This programme is made up of 38 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from 7 countries. Meet SICA mentee, Jessica Arias Hernández, a Geochemist in Geothermal Industry at ICE in Costa Rica.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I’m a geologist chemist by formation, working in the monitoring of geothermal fields. I like to know that my work contributes to sustaining clean energies and to providing sustainability and better use of the geothermal resources that we develop.
2) What were your goals when you started working in the energy sector? How have these evolved?
I feel very honoured to be able to be part of the development of clean energies. My objectives when starting this career were to learn and contribute to the improvement of the processes that are developed. The path of learning in the geothermal industry is endless and with each year we are solving and facing new challenges. Today I see the need to focus on promoting the training and leadership of young professionals who wish to continue with these processes.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy in your country?
Costa Rica has potential in hydro, geothermal, wind and solar energy, mostly developed by ICE. It is possible to see small private hydro and wind developments while geothermal and solar power are expected to grow in years to come
I found it challenging to develop and share criteria and solutions in an environment dominated by men and the older generation. Most of the time, the same people participate in activities and the process of opening opportunities for new faces has been difficult but it has progressed for us.
I have been able to create spaces for listening and openness for other workers who had many contributions but who are rarely listened to. I believe that the challenges continue and we must face them with enthusiasm and know-how to support each other and ask for help when we need it.
I would like to continue growing in the clean energy sector, leading and sharing experiences and fostering the professional growth of other people with a marked focus on equity and equality for all. It is important to promote the participation of more women in this industry and in research and development.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
I recommend that women be trained in the sectors with the greatest need in the market which are linked to activities promoted by the energy sector. These types of activities also promote connections with other women that help to foster a network of contacts.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.