Why my kids are proud of my work in utilities consulting
February 20, 2020
February 20, 2020
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My kids are amazed by the work I do.
“Mom helps make sure there is clean water for fish, clean air for all of us and healthy homes for turtles and pandas,” they say.
In my role as a Transmission & Distribution Consulting Senior Manager in the utilities industry, I collaborate with client teams and colleagues to help create the electric-energy system of the future.
Every day, I help clients look beyond the incremental change. We break down the silos that exist in every organization and think bigger about how we can decrease the amount of energy we all need to attain or maintain a high quality of life.
That’s why this is an exciting time to be working as a consultant in the utilities space, helping reframe the entire industry.
As a full-time professional in the utilities industry, I think about electric power and its accessibility. And, as a mother of two young children and as a citizen of the global community, I use my home as a testing ground for the internet of things (IoT) and human-machine interaction.
My home is heated and cooled by a geothermal heat pump, which uses the earth as a heat source in the winter and heat sink in the summer.
We also test the ways IoT devices impact our behavior, sense of privacy and comfort, especially as it relates to energy consumption. The insight I gain from my family and home is directly transferrable to my clients’ innovation agendas.
As a consulting senior manager and a parent, I use my “superpowers” to maintain balance.
A peek inside my work bag reveals the “tools of the trade” I carry to support my mission of delivering innovative, profitable, good for the environment—and, of course, bandages for skinned knees, which come in handy as a mom of two active young boys.
My consulting purse always has a set of dry-erase markers and a whiteboard cleaner because I enjoy facilitating meetings using a whiteboard instead of a slide deck. Design thinking and next-generation communications techniques improve the level of engagement, focus, and buy-in, delivering impactful results.
I often leave my laptop out of important collaboration sessions, so I carry a notebook to capture action items using old-school handwriting. In the back envelope of my notebook are thank-you cards from my colleagues. Coaching people is the most rewarding aspect of my work. There is no better motivation at the end of a challenging workday than giving and receiving notes from my teammates.
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I am also an extreme planner. I have charts that weave together my obligations and professional commitments to create a single view of my life three to six months in advance. It helps me feel in charge—because being in two places at once is impossible.
Having conversations about work priorities and personal boundaries is vital to a healthy work-life balance. A supportive work environment makes conversations about boundaries easy. And working with purpose helps to get my family on board with my professional goals.
Growing a career in a historically male-dominated industry has its challenges, but we’re making strides in attracting more women to careers in this space.
In the past, attending industry conferences with experts to advance our understanding of the possible, I often felt like an alien. This was not the case, however, during my most recent visit to DistribuTECH.
Exhibitor booths were staffed by gender-diverse teams, there were women keynote speakers, and across the conference floor, women were talking about innovation in utilities with confidence.
Everywhere I went, there was one common sentiment. Industry veterans and newcomers agree: Now is the best time to be working in utilities.
Electric utilities need new energy sources, new ways to optimize the entire transmission and distribution system and new customer-engagement techniques.
Making these changes requires a diversity of solutions—diverse people using their unique perspectives to come up with new, innovative ideas.
Teams of Accenture engineers and information systems professionals are now joined by data scientists, experience designers, organizational psychologists, industrial hackers and diverse professionals from many fields to create the energy system of the future.
My passion is developing and leading teams to improve the efficiency of our energy infrastructure. Innovative ideas are not the job of select individuals. After all, we are all innovators.
Now really is the best time to be part of the Accenture Utilities consulting practice and help reinvent the industry. Together, we are paving the path to clean, accessible, and affordable energy.
Helping to reframe the entire industry is an incredible motivator—it works for me, and my kids, every day.
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