Interview: Dr. Megha Pushpendra

Dr. Megha Pushpendra,
Lead- Strategic Communication at International Solar Alliance
 

“Sustainability is What Comes Naturally to Women.”

Sustainability is what comes naturally to women. Academic pursuits in STEM or Arts or commerce- all are a wonderful fit for renewables. I place a testimony that with concerted efforts, scholarship, merit and a positive mind set: Sky Is The Limit. There is a fine balance of ancient best practices and technology when it comes to renewable energy that gives intrinsic motivation – so go for it & give your best: The Best Will Come Back to You!
In an exclusive interaction series with women influencers in the power sector, Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Energetica India, catches up with Dr. Megha Pushpendra, Lead- Strategic Communication, International Solar Alliance (ISA). Here’re some excerpts from that interaction:

“How has been your journey so far, being a woman, in the renewable energy industry?”

Full of encouragement and achievements! I took a brave step around six years back to leave my field of specialisation and follow my passion. My doctoral degree in Silica Characterisation and Application was seemingly at odds with Strategic Communication, but it all fit in so well. International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a global entity evolving every passing moment into a truly multilateral organisation. Gender equity is weaved in the fabric of the ISA right from the beginning. Opportunities from key stakeholders like Government of India, World Bank & GoMP made me hone my skills and apply them to climate change advocacy. This makes me meet the challenges fearlessly and build a stronger strategic communication framework for clean energy adoption.

“How you see the challenge of availability of right kind of skilled manpower in the renewables industry? What more could be done to tap this as an opportunity?”

I won’t say that there is a dearth of skilled man power in renewables, but yes, there is certainly a scope for improvement. My experience in the field of communication tells me that there is a need of articulation for ‘the case of renewables’ so to say. There is a need of diversified ideation when it comes to linking the technological advancements to last mile beneficiary. This can be bridged by bringing gender perspective easily due to natural skill sets women leaders possess. Beyond this, there is a need to push the entrepreneurial activities in this sector by providing better and focused trainings to the RE workforce at various levels.
Challenges are not any different than other fields at macro level. At a micro level, in my personal opinion, two steps are very important to bring work force with right skill sets to forefront in coming times: Firstly, It is time to put renewable energy as a high credit scoring course right in the initial years of education. This will help in getting well oriented youth to come in the RE sector, identifying it as a mainline career option. The second point is: Skill gap assessment across the RE value chain should be taken up strongly as a priority area.
The ISA is currently conducting online bankers training programme. Two regions: Asia Pacific and Africa are already covered. Soon there will be trainings in French and Spanish languages too. Such trainings and workshops will bridge the gap that impedes adoption of solar energy in ISA Member countries. IREDA and Skill council are supporting the ISA in this effort. So, I would say, more focused gap assessment and focused training can yield better results.

“What is your message for other women on joining the renewable energy industry in terms of scope/opportunities? What skill sets they require?”

Sustainability is what comes naturally to women. Academic pursuits in STEM or Arts or commerce- all are a wonderful fit for renewables. I place a testimony that with concerted efforts, scholarship, merit and a positive mind set: Sky Is The Limit. There is a fine balance of ancient best practices and technology when it comes to renewable energy that gives intrinsic motivation – so go for it & give your best: The Best Will Come Back to You!

“How important is the role of family in maintaining a balance between office work and family life for a working woman?”

You got to steer the ship. You got to set the sails. It is not easy. It never will be. The times have changed, you and family members have to be mutually respectful towards each other. This will allow solutions to flow and everything will work in tandem. Once your environment is positive then only you can contribute to your fullest and at your optimal best.

(*Views are personal and not of ISA)

Interview 19/09/2020 by Manu Tayal
 
 
Next events

 

Last interview
 
 
 Energetica India is a publication from Editorial Omnimedia. No reproduction in whole or part of content posted on this website.