A lawyer in energy and administrative law, Michelle de Rijke specializes in politically sensitive matters and projects that require creative and innovative solutions.
Women supporting women
The energy sector is dominated by people with a technical background and men. Among legal advisors, women used to be the minority. However, I see this as an advantage as everybody knows you.
Nowadays, I can say this has really changed. Women are becoming more and more involved in the energy industry. Although technicians and engineers are still often male.
In many organizations Human Resources teams are made responsible for gender balance. However, I think it is also a job for CEO’s, to have diversity and social inclusion top on their agenda and promote it in their companies. I see energy companies that have female CEO’s are taking lead in promoting and advocating gender balance.
Think out of the box
What I want to do in the coming years of my professional life is to guide my clients with hands-on advice in their activities towards 2050 climate goals. As a lawyer active in the energy transition, I think it is important that you do not stick to case law and what is already there. We are facing a novel challenge and we should be innovative and creative. If I want to give one advice to my peers, that is to think out of the box. In the energy transition, thinking differently than the past is key.
Community to shape role models
I find this community at 75inQ valuable because it creates a support medium for women.
We can share our network and think of possibilities to help each other. This is an attitude that we must have in order to empower each other. Two enterprising friends of mine discovered in their conversations with female students that they tend not to come to the fore. When it’s time for presenting, they are hesitant to take the initiative. This could possibly be ascribed to a lack of role models. Maybe female students miss role models among their professors?
Having role models is important. Women should go out, be visible, share their story and explain how they made it.
How have they become successful? In this way, young professionals can find the role models and be encouraged to confidently pursue their goals.