Women in Geothermal (WING) returns to the United States, where it all began!

Women in Geothermal (WING) returns to the United States, where it all began! Kate Young, NREL (source: WING)
Alexander Richter 24 Jun 2019

Women in Geothermal (WING), a global NGO promoting the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the geothermal community, is to be hosted in the United States, taking over the Global Chair from New Zealand.

In 2013 at the Geothermal Resource Council (GRC) Annual General Meeting, 80 women and men turned up for a meeting in Las Vegas to kick off an organisation focused on empowerment for women. This is when Women in Geothermal (WING) was formed.

During the initial meeting in Las Vegas, Andy Blair was appointed to be the Global Chair and went back to New Zealand to build the first WING Global Team. Over the last six years the NZ team has built the foundations of the organisation which has become a powerful movement. At approximately 1600 members worldwide, WING is now the largest single geothermal association on the planet. The time has now arrived for a new team to lead this global organization.

After a rigorous process, WING United States (US) has been awarded the prestigious role to be the WING Global Team for 2020-2023. The strong foundations built by the current Global Team (WING NZ) will serve as a platform for WING US to launch into the next evolution of the organization.

Andy Blair, the current Global Chair of WING says, she is proud to see WING and its accomplishments since its inception in 2013 and is excited to hand over the chair of the organisation to an incredibly energetic, accomplished and incredibly talented group of individuals, men and women in the U.S.

Kelly Blake, the current WING US Ambassador, states “WING US is honoured to build on the many accomplishments of the current Global Team and further advance gender equality in the geothermal industry. We’re excited about connecting and supporting our WING Teams around the world.”

The next WING Global Team is tasked with developing and implementing the next global strategy, working with the individual WING Country Teams to and will deliver local initiatives that have impact in their own communities.

Changing the countries that will serve as the home of the WING Global Team will enable the different social political and business cultures of the host country play a key role in shaping the future of WING. As a global entity, WING needs to evolve to stay relevant and bring value to its members. Each country that takes the Global reins is in the unique position to have real impact on the lives of women and men in the geothermal industry across the globe.

On building the first WING Global Team, Andy Blair says, “I knew I needed ‘Do-ers’, smart people with lots of energy that can make things happen. What I didn’t know at the time, is how much energy people were willing to dedicate, and the sacrifices they were prepared to make, to realise WING’s mission to create a more equitable and fairer workplace for women.” Blair goes on to say “It’s been the single most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my career to date. I’m proud of the work our NZ Team has done.”

Current Global Team member, Paul Siratovich describes choosing the next Global Team, “We have invested a lot of ourselves in creating this movement, and we are very passionate about it. We wanted to make sure that the next Global Team could look after and build on the foundations we’ve built. The US Team has demonstrated their ability to create and deliver impactful global and local WING initiatives. This and their determination and fierceness secured them the role.” Siratovich goes on to state “They expressed a real interest in growing the number of WINGmen; looking to mobilise more men in the industry to lead and support change. I look forward to helping realise that goal.” WING has a goal of 50% male membership, currently at 25%.

Abbie Dean, the WING NZ ambassador states, “The WING Iceland Team submitted a compelling application, with a strong team, ambition and obvious enthusiasm. We know that there will be some really interesting initiatives coming from the WING Iceland Team in the future and we are excited about that. As world leaders in the drive for equality there is much to learn from Iceland.”

The official handover will occur during the World Geothermal Congress in Reykjavik, April 2020. In the meantime, the WING US Team will begin preparing for the transition, with the support of the current Global Team.

About Women in Geothermal (WING)

WING is a volunteer non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the geothermal community. The ultimate aim is to one day become redundant; where no group needs to advocate for gender equality.

The structure of WING is based on local presence and global connection. The WING Global Team, which currently sits within New Zealand, is responsible for the management and operation of the organisation.

WING is an inclusive, non-profit organisation. It’s free to join and anyone can do so by going to WING can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

WING US Team: Kelly Blake (US Ambassador), Bridget Ayling, Karen Christopherson, Cary Lindsey, Mary Mann, Ann Robertson-Tait, Drew Siler, Caity Smith, Andrew Tiedeman, Kate Young

WING NZ Team: Andy Blair (Global Chair), Abbie Dean (NZ Ambassador), Paul Siratovich, Sophie Milloy, Aimee Calibugan, Catherine Coutts, Charis Wong, Juliet Newson, Anya Seward, Karl Spinks.