Bald or grey-haired middle-aged men – words that would describe the majority of the workforce in the energy industry!
No offence to anyone but that’s what I’ve seen at pretty much every conference or event I’ve attended in the sector so far.
But one that I went to recently however was slightly out of the norm.
It was the Young Energy Professionals Forum – made out of young people who’ve joined the energy industry. I wasn’t sure what to expect, not having been to an event dominated by men and women in my age group talking about all things energy. But they were as enthusiastic as the “older generation” – plus so much more excitement and buzz!
For many people, those who make up Generation Y wake up in the early afternoons, with not much interest in anything. They wear pants slung low showing off underwear, are addicted to the now defunct “Flappy Bird” or are busy sinking pints to NekNominate. Oh and don’t forget, they facebook every single thing they do, including a visit to the supermarket.
But that isn’t the case. What surprised me at the event was that the industry which is perceived as boring does have very interesting young people in it.
Joining the sector for some wasn’t a conscious decision but having worked in it for a while now, they realised it is one they will stick to because of the challenges and the diversity in it.
For others however it was a natural progression. They didn’t get into energy by chance but because they were interested in the climate crisis, the energy companies and most importantly making a difference. And they believe the energy sector is the way forward!
They were attracted by the fact the industry is constantly changing – moving away from a carbon economy and more towards renewables and sustainable energy.
With new technologies and innovations constantly coming through and with the sector being so politically driven – one day you might know what you’re doing and the next day you find out a policy has been changed – it is continuously changing and they want to be part of that change.
They want to commit to energy – that was evident.
And I left the event feeling energised and excited to believe the industry could well be heading towards a new direction with a brand new perspective.