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Driving Diversity: Empowering Women in Clean Tech 

8 March 2024

At JET Charge, diversity is at once the easiest and the hardest thing. Easy because it is our default, easy because the value of diversity is the least controversial thing in our day. But also hard, because we exist at the intersection of three incredibly male-dominated industries – technology, automotive and infrastructure.  On this International Women’s Day, it is our honour to share the journey of our very own Business Development Manager, Siena Lethbridge, a woman whose passion for electric vehicles (EVs) ignited a career in clean tech. Read along as she shares her thoughts on diversity in our industry and strategies for building a more diverse workplace. 

Booking the test drive 

For many, entering the electric vehicle industry may seem daunting, but for Siena, it began with a love for cars and an insatiable curiosity. She recalls the excitement round Tesla’s arrival in Australia and eagerly booking a test drive, despite being on her provisional license. “In the days leading up to the test drive, I consumed as much information as I could about Tesla, EVs, and Elon Musk. I was so pumped to drive one,” Siena reminisces. Although she could not drive the Tesla herself, her determination led her to a serendipitous encounter with a Tesla employee who ignited her passion further. “When I got there, the Tesla employee told me I did have to be on a full license to drive. Gutted but determined, I asked if he could take me for a drive in it. He agreed!” she recalls excitedly. And while he showed her ‘ludicrous’ mode in the Model S P100D (0-100km/h in 2.4 seconds), Siena was reeling off various specs and features she had learned. “I was obsessed,” she admits. This encounter sparked her journey into the world of EVs and clean tech, from her initial role as the Tesla Model S Product Specialist at Tesla to her current role with JET Charge.  

The importance of diversity in the transition 

To reach net zero by 2050, 100% of new vehicle sales must be electric by 2035. Which means the charging infrastructure also needs to be ready by then.  

This is an almost impossible task. Almost

At JET Charge, we know that the only way to make sure that the ‘almost’ doesn’t get deleted, is to demand creativity and diverse perspectives. Siena eloquently articulates the value of diverse perspectives, stating, “A group made up of different folks, from different backgrounds—ages and genders—will generate different ideas stemming from their personal experience and unique perspective” she says. By inspiring inclusion, we make sure that better ideas are generated, and it is those ideas that will make sure that we get to net zero by 2050. 

Strategies for Encouraging Diversity 

Enabling a more diverse workforce requires concerted efforts at various levels—individual, company, and industry. Siena suggests three key strategies to foster diversity: 

  1. Supporting Passion and Talent 

Encouraging young women to explore their passions and interests forms the foundation for a more diverse workplace. In the industries in which JET Charge works and interacts, where some see less than a quarter of tertiary enrolments being female, the importance of this cannot be overstated. Industry is one of JET Charge’s purpose pillars, and inherent in that purpose is an industry that is diverse and thriving. Whilst we encourage and actively support our employees to manage their career paths in the EV industry, we know we can do more in inspiring the next wave of leaders for our industry through initiatives such as internships.

  1. Showcasing Diversity 

Highlighting the diverse talent within the clean tech industry is vital for inspiring others and breaking down barriers. This sentiment holds true for Siena, who draws inspiration from leaders at JET Charge. “Claire Painter, our Head of Business Development, embodies our commitment to diversity and serves as a beacon of inspiration. The same can be said for our co-founder, Ellen Liang,” she affirms. By making leaders like Claire and Ellen visible not only within the company but in the wider community through social media, industry events and conferences, we motivate women within JET Charge, and hopefully across all walks of life to join and stay in the industry. 

  1. Creating an Inclusive Industry 

Establishing industry-led associations that promote inclusivity provides networking and mentorship opportunities. According to Siena, it is crucial that such associations exist at an industry level. “It’s important to have industry-led associations that are inclusive- I was fortunate enough to get involved with W.E.V – Women in EVs.” These spaces foster collaboration and support, empowering women to thrive in the clean tech sector.  

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, JET Charge is indebted to Siena for her invaluable contributions to the clean tech transition. Thank you, Siena, and thank you to all the women who have left their indelible mark on the EV industry. The transition is an almost impossible task, and without you, it would be, quite simply, impossible. 

To explore career opportunities at JET Charge and join a diverse and innovative team driving the EV Charging industry forward, visit our career page.

Stay tuned on the JET Charge Blog for more industry news, announcements, and educational pieces.