#BreakTheBias with Sophia Hasnaoui

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is to break the bias. We ask our colleagues what this means to them.

What is your name and what is your role at Yellow Door Energy?

My name is Sophia Hasnaoui, I joined Yellow Door Energy 3 years ago as a Business Development Manager in the UAE Market.

I help businesses switch to clean energy and become more energy efficient. My role is to identify potential customers, provide them with sustainable and innovative solutions. It is also important for me to be up to date with the latest technologies and the regulatory environment.

What does “Break the Bias” mean to you in terms of gender equality?

There are a lot of assumptions and stereotypes about what women should do with their lives. The “Break the Bias” movement raises awareness about the importance of gender equality and changes outdated mindsets.

We can break the bias by speaking up against violence against women, encouraging girls to pursue education and hiring female talents for senior leadership roles. I believe it is crucial to spread awareness and provide the right education when it comes to this matter.

I like to quote Ban Ki-Moon, former secretary general of the United Nations. He said, “Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone’s responsibility.”

What gender stereotypes have you faced in your career? How did it affect you?

I studied mechanical engineering and have always worked in male dominated industries. It was a personal choice and I am comfortable with it.

However, it can be frustrating when it seems I must work harder than my peers to prove myself and gain recognition. Additionally, the benefits and incomes are still not equally distributed among men and women.

An interviewer once told me, “You don’t need a higher salary. You have a husband who can take care of you.”

Evidently, we still have a long way to go to change such outdated mindsets.

How would you describe Yellow Door Energy’s culture regarding women in the workplace?

After having worked in male-dominated industries for over a decade, I was really surprised to see the number of female colleagues I had once I joined Yellow Door Energy. 32% of the employees at Yellow Door Energy are women versus 23% in the energy sector as a whole.

One of the core values at Yellow Door Energy is sustainability, and a business can be sustainable only when it is treating everyone, including the female employees, fairly. I admire that Yellow Door Energy has a performance-driven culture where you can shine regardless of your gender.

What advice would you give women who are seeking career growth?

Be open to working in a male-dominated industry; being different is a strength and can provide many opportunities. Be inspired by and learn from successful female leaders. If they can make it, then you can, too!

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