GWNET brings you the 9th 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, Liliana Gisell Morales Córdoba, Legal Advisor and Specialist in Energy Matters in Panama.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I am a Panamanian lawyer with experience in processing permits for projects and the mother of a 7-year-old boy. I am organized and very good at carrying out several tasks simultaneously.
At present, one of the things I love the most is writing my energy column in the newspaper “The Star of Panama” because it allows me to meet and learn from other local and international professionals.
In addition, it fills me with great joy when people from the energy sector of my country comment or share my articles.
2) What were your goals when you started working in the energy sector? How have these evolved?
I started working on a project for the construction of a 441 MW Gas Plant. I was new to the sector and had taken this risk, therefore, my first goal was to adapt quickly and do my best so that this work could develop.
My objectives today are different because I not only want to dedicate myself to working on energy projects but I also want to promote women within the sector and within education in energy law.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy in your country?
Panama has great potential to develop renewable energy. We have an official agenda to achieve the 2020-2030 energy transition, which includes major changes for the electricity and hydrocarbons sector.
Today the opportunities are in topics such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, and storage.
I think the first challenge I had was to learn very quickly in order to could keep up with my colleagues in the first project I worked on, and earn professional respect with each permit earned.
The work I do is the legal management of permits, therefore it is very challenging, not only because sometimes one depends on others but because you have to be persistent to achieve each approval.
Some of the ways in which I have overcome the obstacles that have arisen in my work have been through “calm” (to think), “creativity” (solution) and “faith” (positivism).
I would love to continue in the energy sector because that is my passion, contributing to projects, the figure of women and energy law.
I am sure this mentoring will give me the necessary tools to learn and improve as a professional to achieve my goals and get new opportunities. Additionally, I look forward to meeting other talented ladies who share the same interests and ideals as me.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
I would advise them to forget the stereotype that the energy sector is for men only. Today many women who are working are doing an incredible job and have a great will to learn.
And the will to learn is something very powerful because it can lead us down incredible paths of growth and success.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.