Women in Renewable Energy Network at CAREC Renewable Energy & Smart Grid Conference
The third annual convening of the WIRE Mentor Network, held at the CAREC Renewable Energy & Smart Grid Conference (September 23-27, 2018)
The WIRE Mentor Network is a program which enables island women working in energy to receive formal mentorship from senior women in energy. It creates a close yet diverse network of island women leaders who support and empower each other. The third annual convening of the WIRE Mentor Network was held at the CAREC Renewable Energy & Smart Grid Conference, which brought together women from 14 different islands to participate in professional develop workshops and practical demonstrations of renewable energy best practices.
The 2018 CAREC Renewable Energy & Smart Grid Conference was held under the theme: “Energy Resilience and Independence” and gathered researchers, thought leaders, and utility and energy professionals to provide a unique platform to delve deeply into renewable energy and resilience from both a global and a regional perspective. This conference was strategically aligned with the CARILEC Renewable Energy Community (CAREC) platform to drive knowledge sharing and collaboration in the region’s energy sphere.
The conference featured interactive workshops, networking opportunities, peer-to-peer learning, and practical demonstrations of renewable energy best practices, resiliency planning, and disaster management. It also served as a space for female professionals to connect with each other under the CARILEC and WIRE strategic partnership.
Kerne Antoine, energy specialist at National Utilities Regulatory Commission, St. Lucia, was honored by the executive director of CARILEC, Dr. Cletus Bertin, for being the most engaged user of the online learning and knowledge exchange platform, CAREC. She was presented with an award at the opening ceremony on Sunday, September 23.
At the conference, 12 WIRE Mentor Network participants moderated panels. Additionally, the WIRE Network hosted an all-women panel on Tuesday, September 25 focused on national energy planning. The panel was moderated by current mentor, Nnyeka Prescod, advisor for the Association of Caribbean States, and featured WIRE Network members Charlin Bodley, energy officer with the Government of St. Lucia; Khadija Usher, generation planner for Belize Electricity Limited; and Kathleen Riviere-Smith, executive director of Organizations of Caribbean Utility Regulators, Bahamas. This panel was not only unique in that it featured only women, but discussed the importance of energy planning from the perspective of government, utility, and regulator all on one stage. Many attendees commented on the positive and continuous contributions from WIRE women throughout the conference, consistently engaging in thought-provoking questions, new discussion topics, and knowledge sharing.
On Monday, September 24, the WIRE Mentor Network Closed Session was held for mentorship members, in which all 22 women participated. This served as an opportunity for the mentors to get to know their assigned mentees, create goals for the year, and discuss challenges faced both in the workplace and in their personal lives. All 11 mentors created individual presentations on topics of their choice ranging from motivational talks to ice breakers to goal setting activities.
Thank you to all the mentees, mentors, and alumni for participating in both sessions and contributing to a successful third annual convening!