Women making waves in energy
Published: 13 Mar 2015
Scottish businesswoman Jeanette Forbes was one of the featured speakers at the Gulf Intelligence Women in Energy Summit which took place this week in Doha, Qatar.
Jeanette, CEO of the PCL Group in Aberdeen, was invited to take part in the summit to address delegates on “Technology: Clearing the path for women to work in technical field?” In her talk she spoke about how the application of new technologies has been a trigger for greater diversification in the energy industry and the new opportunities for women to enter the sector.
During the summit, which was held in association with the Qatari Businesswomen Association, she also took part in an International Leadership Panel which discussed “Four decades of change – what are the key battles ahead?”
Other panellists included Lady Barbara Judge, a member of the UAE Advisory Board for the Development of Peaceful Energy and the Chairs of both the World Energy Council and the World Petroleum Council Youth Committee.
Jeanette said it was “a huge privilege” to be invited to speak at the summit.
Commenting before the event, she said: “Encouraging women to consider a career in the energy sector and supporting opportunities for them to do so is something I’m very passionate about and this is a marvellous opportunity to be able to update an international audience about what is happening here in Aberdeen in relation to how the barriers are coming down.
“The Middle East has a strong focus on this and the majority of new university students entering engineering programmes in the Arabian Gulf are young women. While the energy industry there, as here, is still dominated by men, more and more women are working in the sector, including in managerial roles where they can help influence the industry’s future. However we still require family-friendly working environments to accommodate women returners who have young children and depend on childcare. Flexible hours and remote working can change how a women looks at an organisation for long term employment.”
Jeanette founded the PCL Group, which provides a full range of IT, telecoms and computer services to the offshore, marine, commercial, industrial and renewable sectors, in 2000. Since then she has been at the forefront of promoting and encouraging opportunities for women in the energy sector and has won a number of national awards and industry accolades for her work in that area along with her role as a business mentor. She also sits on the board of several Scottish Government IT and digital technology groups and was recently appointed Aberdeen City Ambassador for Investment, to support the city’s Invest, Live, Visit programme.