POWERful Women welcomes new members

25th March 2024
Sheryl Miles

POWERful Women is delighted to announce the appointment of Joanna Whittington, and Tomi Isaacs to its Board; and the addition for the first time of young professionals in an advisory capacity – Francesca Putzu and Ola Balbaa. Francis Gugen has also announced his retirement from the Board, after 10 years.

Katie Jackson, Chair of POWERful Women, said: “We are delighted to welcome our two new Board members, Joanna Whittington and Tomi Isaacs, whose experience in organisational governance and diversity and inclusion strategy will bring fresh and valuable insights. We are also excited to bring early career representation onto the Board for the first time from two young women working in energy, offering their unique perspectives and advice as we embark on the next decade of POWERful Women. We all look forward to working with our new members.

“We are also saying a sad goodbye to Francis Gugen, after 10 years of support on the POWERful Women Board. We thank him enormously for his valuable contributions, which were always insightful, honest, and constructive, and for being a strong ally to the team and to the mission of POWERful Women since its inception.”

Joanna Whittington has held a number of senior roles in the energy and transport sectors and in economic regulation and was formerly Director General, Energy and Security at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of POWERful Women, a fantastic organisation that has, in the last ten years, made a significant contribution to the profile of women in the energy sector. An equal, diverse, and inclusive energy sector is an essential enabler of the energy transition and POWERful Women is an important catalyst to achieving this.”

Tomi Isaacs is a Senior Director at Catalyst, the global NGO helping build workplaces for women, and formerly worked with the 30% Club and at WPP.

She commented: “The energy transition and UK energy companies’ commitments to achieve Net Zero targets over the next 25 years requires the best talent from a diverse workforce. I’m thrilled to have been asked to join the POWERful Women Board. I hope to shape the strategy to achieve the ‘40% by 30’ target, which will transform the UK energy sector.”

Young Professional Board Member, Francesca Putzu is a data analyst, currently leading power market analysis for EMEA at the solar developer Lightsource bp.

She said: "I’m deeply honoured to join the POWERful Women Board as a Young Professional Member, especially as we celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. I look forward to contributing to their dedicated efforts of creating a more gender-balanced and inclusive energy sector workforce that better reflects the diversity of the society it serves."  

Young Professional Board Member Ola Balbaa, is a Wells Engineer at bp and was nominated in the ‘Top 50 Women of Egypt’.

She said: “As a young professional working in the energy sector, I always believed that diversity adds value. Joining the POWERful Women Board holds a huge opportunity for me to contribute to a more innovative environment, through embracing talent and creating equal opportunities. That way we can embrace diverse perspectives and better tackle the worldwide energy challenges.”

Francis Gugen is one of the founding members of POWERful Women’s advisory board, supporting the initiative since it began in 2014.

Francis commented: “It has been a privilege to be part of taking POWERful Women from an idea to a force for meaningful change and to see it now in the hands of the next exceptional generation. I believe that POWERful Women has not only changed the opportunities for women but has made men more effective too; both are needed for the vital energy transition.”

POWERful Women was established in 2014 and this year is celebrating a decade of championing women in the UK energy sector.

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