At Ohmium, we’re proud to have strong and pioneering women employed across all areas of our organization who are challenging gender norms while leading the effort to accelerate the clean energy transition. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we recently sat down with three of them to learn more about how they broke into this traditionally male-dominated field, what their experience at Ohmium (and within the clean energy industry in general) has been like, and how more organizations can support women’s equality.
From her office in Denver, Colorado, Celeste serves as the Associate Director of Systems Engineering at Ohmium. As a child, she loved math and science, and knew she wanted to pursue a career that involved both. This is why she was excited to join Ohmium, where she could apply her chemical and nuclear energy background at a clean technology company operating in a rapidly expanding green hydrogen sector.
Recently, when Celeste became a new mother, she was grateful to work for a company that supports women in their varied life roles, including offering paid maternity leave, a flexible schedule, and remote work options.
When speaking about the key benefits of gender diversity in the workplace, particularly in a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused organization, Celeste believes the wide variety of perspectives that a diverse workforce brings brings helps organizations to problem solve better. But in order for organizations to provide equal opportunities for career advancement and leadership roles for women in STEM, Celeste believes they first need to correct their own unconscious biases. Through training on unconscious biases, discussions on gender equality, and having more representation of women in all teams throughout organizations, Celeste hopes that one day the STEM field will be degenderized.
Vani is based at Ohmium’s Gigafactory in Bangalore, India where she is the Team Lead working on electrolyzer stack materials. She grew up in a progressive family, where she was encouraged to follow her dreams from a young age. Despite growing up in a society that typically suggested science was best left to men, and that women should focus on marriage first, and education later, Vani had a love for science that led her to pursue a PhD in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. However, as she advanced in her academic studies it was much more noticeable that there were far fewer women in her classes.
Once Vani had completed her PhD, she joined Ohmium, and was excited by the prospect of growing her career with a young and developing company focused on accelerating the clean energy transition. While Vani believes there can be a bias in favor of men in India in many workplaces, she really appreciates the intentional focus on diversity at Ohmium including the gender diverse team she works with who are pioneering advancements in next generation PEM electrolyzers.
In order to promote true gender equality, Vani says organizations need to give equal opportunities to men and women. Young girls should also be encouraged both in school and at home to pursue their interests in science and technology. By increasingly highlighting the growing number of successful female STEM role models it demonstrates very clearly that women and girls all around the world can aspire to have these types of impactful careers.
Vani emphasized that she would not be where she is without her family, as their encouragement and support (coupled with her drive and determination) is why she is living out her dream of pursuing a career in science and sustainability.
Marta Lema is the Director of Strategic Pricing Europe at Ohmium and is based in Madrid, Spain. Growing up, she was interested in science, and decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering because it allowed her to contribute to wider societal goals while working in a variety of industries and different countries. While she started her career in the gray hydrogen field, she always knew she wanted to work with green hydrogen. So, when the opportunity to work at Ohmium presented itself, she jumped at the chance to join the organization. What really stood out to Marta was the significant hydrogen and clean energy experience of Ohmium’s senior management team, combined with the company’s clear mission to accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors and enable a low-carbon future.
In addition to being passionate about her work, Marta has always been driven to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. Since she graduated from university, Marta has been a STEM ambassador, speaking at a number of European schools, universities and professional institutes and mentoring young women. She is a strong believer in mentorship as an important way for women to support other women to enter the fields of science and engineering and achieve their full potential.
Marta believes if organizations truly want to embed women’s equality within their corporate culture, they must have a clear vision and strategy that actively promotes gender equality and is owned and embraced throughout the entire organization. It’s important to have different perspectives and diverse demographics for teams to perform to their full potential and this is something that is very evident across the multifunctional and multiregional teams at Ohmium.