Women in Hydrogen
This International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated since 1911, as a global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women, we want to highlight women in the hydrogen industry. The number of women participating in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields has increased in recent years. Still, researchers estimate that even now, women’s stories make up only 0.5 percent of recorded history.
We don’t hear nearly enough about women in hydrogen, but they are out there, and are working on some very cool, innovative technology that is changing how society is addressing climate change. For more than 25 years, women have been integral to teams and leadership in hydrogen and fuel cell engineering, material science, finance, HR, marketing, sales, administration, manufacturing, purchasing, services, policy development, and so many other areas. We’re proud to have previously highlighted the life and work of amazing women at Plug Power, like Katlyn Conaway, Sandra Saathoff, Amy Fitzgerald, and Natalie Bova.
Fun Fact: Cecilia Payne, is one of the most influential and overlooked female astronomers in the history of science. She was instrumental in discovering the ubiquity of hydrogen in our universe, and the data she derived for her 1925 dissertation are likely the most significant contributions to our modern understanding of the true composition of stars.
In 2020, the Hydrogen Council featured more than 40 women from many different companies as part of their Women in Hydrogen social media campaign. Among these were Plug Power’s Tammy Kimble, VP Human Resources, Teal Hoyos, Director of Marketing, and Amanda Monthie, Talent Acquisition Director. And in 2019, FuelCellsWorks wrote a blog featuring some of the faces of women in hydrogen.
Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, Women in Hydrogen is sponsoring “Hydrogen in the USA,” a virtual event featuring top female leaders in hydrogen and fuel cells for a fireside chat and topical panels geared towards both the experienced hydrogen practitioner and passionate newcomer. The lineup includes Corine Dubruel, Plug Power’s Vice President Strategy and Public Affairs for Europe. Alongside her will be leaders from Cummins, the U.S. Department of Energy, EPRI, Rice University, FuelCell Energy, and Tacoma Power. The focus is on learning, connecting and empowering women in the hydrogen and energy transition space. Register for the event here.
Let’s celebrate the achievements of women in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. There’s still a lot of work to be done – to build the industry and to increase the percentage of women working within it – and we’re all in because we know that teams do better work when diverse groups of people come together!
Did You Know: Women’s history month started out as women’s history week, back during the Carter administration, after a school teacher in California realized that the books she was using to teach history to her students did not have many women included in them. She created her own curriculum, which caught on in the school system and was elevated to then-President Carter’s team in the late 1970s. They designated Women’s History Week, which evolved to a whole month in 1987, during President Reagan’s administration.