Women in EV
This week, the EV Summit is celebrating Top Women in EV, with their event recognising the achievements of women in campaigns and policy, business, communications, marketing, engineering and technology, HR and business development.
Here at Joju, we’ve been catching up with some of the inspiring women in our own team, to discover more about their experiences and perspectives of the emobility landscape.
Meet Katie Colledge-Price, Emma Blades and Bea Karlsen… all at different stages of their career with us and all with a variety of insights to share.
Katie joins next week, concentrating on Public Sector projects as a Senior Project Manager in our EV delivery team, and we can’t wait to welcome her. For the last 18 months she’s been working with Oxford City Council, driving the Energy Super Hub project forward – the roll out of a 50 plus charge point hub at Redbridge Park and Ride. For Katie, however, her passion for electric vehicles began over 10 years ago, when she was managing the fleet for Microsoft… taking it to over 25% electric by the time she said goodbye.
“I suggested electric vehicles for the fleet in 2011 thinking people might laugh, but everyone was so engaged with it. I organised a trial, got an EV for myself and it was a light bulb moment. I thought, this is what I want to do with my life. I felt the world wasn’t changing fast enough and I wanted to do my bit. I’ve been jumping up and down about electric vehicles, charge points, sustainability and education ever since”.
Someone else who got involved in the EV industry to make a difference is Bea Karlsen. Bea joined us in 2019 in EV Research and Marketing and as Bea says, she really wanted to be a changemaker too.
“I’ve always been interested in making the environment better. It’s been an area that’s been neglected for quite some time and now, I really enjoy being part of the change… helping councils, individuals and other businesses with their charge point infrastructure and installation”.
Bea is originally from Norway, where she studied the very rapid uptake of EV’s in her home country, and is now helping us apply those same lessons in the UK.
Emma Blades is just as passionate. Joining us at Joju Charging six months ago as an Account Manager, Emma decided to make the move into the EV sector after wanting to be more proactive in creating change. Emma originally studied Environmental Science at University, landed a job at an environmental consultancy and was there for over 13 years, looking at resource efficiency audits, energy audits, waste, sustainability and carbon management for business, and the development of environmental eLearning. However, in Emma’s words,
“I really wanted to stretch myself and get involved. Instead of advising people on how they could potentially make a difference, joining Joju meant I could get immersed in putting in infrastructure that would actually make a difference. It was much more of a proactive stance”.
That idea of proactivity and immediacy is something close to Katie’s heart too and from her perspective, it’s all about encouraging potential EV drivers to make the switch – and quickly!
“I wanted to join Joju to know I’m doing something for people who want to switch, but who are being held back by the lack of infrastructure. I think the other element is I’m fascinated by going to sites and thinking about what energy capacity we can put in, what’s going to work, what isn’t. I’m a fixer and love finding solutions, so this is really exciting”.
This appeals to Emma as well. Although, as an Account Manager, her role centres on creating conversation with clients about installing EV infrastructure (“I’m definitely a talker”, Emma says), she’s also been getting stuck into creating feasibility studies and is relishing the challenge of finding different solutions.
“I’ve been looking at sites for Fire and Rescue and NHS clients and I love the fact that they are all so different. You’re not simply producing the same EV charging formula for each one and I’m definitely learning more about electrical components than I envisaged… getting in touch with network operators, discussing their three-phase supply and what it takes to start the charge point. I’ve come to the EV industry from a different background. I’m not an engineer or an electrician, but everybody’s so passionate about what they’re doing at Joju that it rubs off, and makes you want to learn more”.
Learning in the industry is something Katie talks animatedly about too. She’s noticed a gap between experience and studied industry knowledge, and has gone ‘back to school’ in the evenings herself to take an online course on The Green Economy, looking at transport, biodiversity, and the circular economy. As Katie tells us,
“My interest is the transport side and moving away from the outright ownership of a vehicle, to sharing. Can you adapt consumer culture, if you pitch why you want to move to a greener economy in the right way? It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to practices and policy over the next 5 years”.
As well as industry changes and the desire to create change in the EV world, what do Katie, Emma and Bea think about being part of the growing group of women in EV and about diversity in the industry? Have they noticed a change?
Katie says she’s definitely seen a shift and shares this anecdote:
“When I first joined the industry, I went to a GreenFleet awards event and the host said, ‘Can all the men in the room stand up? Now, can all the women in the room stand up?’ and in a room full of 250 people, only 20 were women. I went to another event in 2017 and it was a 50/50 split, so it is drastically changing”.
Katie believes that in part, that’s down to women diversifying their roles.
“Historically there was an expectation about what you should do as a woman and now, it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. It’s whether you can do the job that’s important”.
Emma feels the same way.
“Diversity is crucial in every industry. It’s important to have a wide range of perspectives, but I feel it comes down to having the right people in the right roles and I suppose that although a greater percentage of electricians and engineers have been traditionally male, this is definitely changing”.
For Bea, more inclusivity would definitely be welcome. As she says,
“It would be great to hear from more female speakers at EV events – like the EV Summit’s event this week. On a slightly different note, I’m excited about how the industry inspires all kinds of people whether that’s from a technology, environmental or health perspective. Everyone needs to change the way they travel and it’s great to be part of the solution”.
And that is the resounding feeling… being inspired to be part of a team that’s leading the charge.
As Katie poignantly says,
“I don’t want to leave this planet thinking I should’ve done more”.
That’s what being in the EV industry is about for Katie, Emma, Bea and all of us here at Joju. We’re driven to do more, to inspire change and ultimately to act. To do something every day to help reduce the environmental impact and provide clean energy alternatives and if we do that, we can make a genuine, tangible difference.
Find out more
- Want to join the team? We always welcome applications from talented and passionate individuals
- Discover more about EV Charging
- Check out some of our EV Charging case studies