Women in Geothermal WING Caring Award 2019 – Charis Wong

WING Award Winners 2019 - top right Charis Wong
Alexander Richter 31 Oct 2019

In this third piece we feature this year's winner of the Women in Geothermal (WING) 2019 WING Caring award, Charis Wong, L'Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS).

The 2nd annual Women in Geothermal (WING) Awards were presented to four deserving recipients at the September 2019 GRC Annual Meeting and Expo in Palm Springs, California. These awards are given each year to people selected by their peers for their commitment to the promotion, development and education of women in the geothermal industry. The winners were chosen because they embody WING’s four core values: Courageous, Empowering, Open, and Caring.

With this piece, we are featuring the third award.

CARING: Charis Wong, L’Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS)

  • Create safe work environments
  • Be open minded and empathize with others’ situations
  • Think beyond your borders; make the world your community
  • Demonstrate social responsibility; contribute to sustainable development

Charis is one of the humblest people you will ever meet, yet she would cross oceans for the causes she cares about, one of which is gender equality and women’s rights. One of the driving forces behind the inception of the WingMan Special Task Force while she worked at Mercury Energy, she worked with a group of men to advance the goal of helping women succeed and be heard. This was a big step for Charis, one that has significantly increased her self-confidence.

About a year ago, Charis left her job at Mercury to work for Freeset ( in Sonagachi, Kolkata, India. In comparison to many of us who are lucky enough to live in developed countries, she chose to live in an incredibly unsafe neighborhood with sub-standard conditions for one reason: to help women get out of the sex trade. Her ‘official’ role was to teach skills that would allow women to earn money outside of the sex trade; however, she was also a mentor, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and a ‘sister’ to many of the women she met.

The sacrifices that she made to take on this task are nothing short of awe inspiring, and WING can think of no person more deserving of this year’s ‘Caring’ award than Charis.


More information about Women in Geothermal (WING) you can find on its website.