Schneider Electric Female Execs on International Women’s Day

Schneider Electric’s CINO Nadège Petit and Kelly Becker, President for the UK and Ireland, talk about the importance of women in the workforce on IWD 2024

As we continue to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we share insights from women leading the energy revolution, catapulting the sector to new heights as it navigates the plethora of challenges thrust in its direction while meeting increasing demand, all while working toward sustainability goals.

Nadège Petit joined Schneider Electric in 1994 as a sales manager, and over the span of two decades has witnessed an evolution in energy and sustainability, with highlights including rapid growth of the renewable energy market, the Paris Agreement, growth of corporate sustainability initiatives and decarbonisation commitments.

Now, she leads teams building the tech needed for the transition to a more electric, sustainable and digital world — working on intelligent grid-based solutions that reduce strain on the energy network, while optimising use of locally generated renewable energy.

Her colleague Kelly Becker, President of Schneider Electric’s operations in the UK and Ireland, is a driving force behind Schneider Electric’s ESG and business strategy and is instrumental in transforming building design, construction and maintenance to reduce waste and emissions.

Under Kelly’s stewardship, the company has ramped up its commitment to creating net-zero homes and businesses. A key champion of diversifying the workforce and opening up opportunities for women in engineering and technology, Becker is keen to see more women join in as the green economy continues to grow. Companies like Schneider Electric itself are driving this change, for example, with women making up 27% of its UK workforce, higher than the 20% average in these sectors.

In light of this, the pair share their views on how women not only benefit the energy sector, but give it fresh perspective, enable its innovation and continue to drive it to a brighter and greener future.

Nadège Petit, Chief Innovation Officer at Schneider Electric

Nadège Petit, CIO at Schneider Electric

“Green economies around the world are opening up more careers and leadership roles for women in technology and engineering, providing greater opportunity for diverse opinions and creativity. I strongly believe, and have experienced first-hand, how a diverse organisational and social culture is far better placed to drive innovation and critical thinking. 

“Organisations have a responsibility to nurture female talent, and I have greatly benefitted from mentorship in my own career journey. Having started as a sales manager at Schneider Electric to now being a part of the Executive Committee, I have been fortunate to not only witness the radical evolution in energy and sustainability, but learn and be empowered by those around me. In my role, I strive to create and sustain an inclusive culture within my team and am committed to fostering the right conditions for other women to succeed. One of my most fulfilling roles has been to pass my knowledge on — networking, supporting, and mentoring other women in the energy industry to enable their route to success.”

Kelly Becker, President of Schneider Electric UK & Ireland

Kelly Becker, President of Schneider Electric UK & Ireland

“The UK’s green economy is set to be one of the most influential, creating new technology and engineering career opportunities for a more sustainable future. Yet, its lack of workforce diversity is holding it back. Put simply, diversity and inclusion must be recognised as a business imperative to continue to drive innovation and investment into the sector.

“However, this takes a concerted effort. Organisations must create business frameworks that nurture female talent; and in this respect, Schneider Electric is proud to lead the way with bold initiatives including those on diverse leadership, family leave and pay equity – which has been recognised by the World Economic Forum.  

“Currently, women represent 27% of our workforce which is 20% higher than the engineering and technology standard. To build on this achievement, we’ve made the ambitious pledge that 50% of all new hires, 40% of frontline managers and 30% of leadership roles will be held by women by 2025.  

“I know the value of support and mentorship from my own career experience, which is why I strongly advocate for diversity and inclusion. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to hold up the ladder to success; different perspectives create stronger teams that unlock innovation, investment, and new opportunities to thrive.” 

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