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EMPOWERS SOUTH

Lena Chirwa joined Enel Green Power RSA as a lawyer in 2014.

At the time, Enel Green Power RSA employed only around eight people.

 Now, the company employs over 170 staff, and 45% of these are women.

Lena’s legal team has grown to include four lawyers, all of whom are women. “In the lifecycle of any project at Enel, our legal department is involved from beginning to end,” she explains.

“I consider it to be a culture of ongoing learning, because not one project is the same, making it a dynamic and diverse environment to work in.”

 Prior to Enel, Lena worked at financial institutions in the capital projects and infrastructure sector.

Then around 2011, an opportunity arose in the renewable energy sector. “I knew that it was a sector I wanted to be involved in”.

In relation to Enel, she says, “I like that the company employs several women in key roles in the renewable energy sector.

This shows that it’s possible for women to be successful in this sector.”

 “To empower women is to expose them to opportunities and nurture their talent.

 At Enel Green Power, I’ve worked with CEOs who have mentored me.

I have never felt that my being a woman posed an obstacle to my development in the company.”

 Lena believes that we should be mindful of making comparisons between men and women.

 “That promotes stereotypes and creates an expectation that women are a certain way.

Men and women should rather be recognised for their talent.” In many sectors, women are excluded, particularly in top management.

 “There should not be any question about whether women can do the job,” she says.

 “Hire talented women or develop the women already in your organisation.”

When it comes to being inspired and staying motivated about women’s empowerment, Lena points to the successes of her team and the confidence they have acquired over the years in their work.

Many women in the workplace feel discouraged because they’re not seeing significant changes in the empowerment of women.

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