Women in Solar

Elizabeth’s education background is in medical engineering with the aim to work in hospitals and medical faculties, however in 1998, she applied and was offered a job as a technician with Sollatek Electronics Kenya Ltd (SEKL). She was the only female technical then and remains the only female technician now.

Sollatek has put her skills and ebullience to good use. Over the years she has worked at the Mombasa service centre, Nairobi service centre and in Kampala, Uganda. Moving to serve the company and further developing her career. In June 2008, Elizabeth came back to Mombasa to start a new adventure as the Coast Region Sales Engineer.

With her usual humility, Elizabeth explains her work,  “Its fun, interesting and challenging. I have had customers look at my business card and say ‘Whoa you are the sales engineer??’ and all I do is laugh and say  ‘Yes, that’s me by the grace of God’.

With SEKL, Elizabeth loves that it gives her the opportunity keep learning.  “When I started my job at Sollatek, I did not know anything about solar panels and power control devices. I had to learn everything on the job.”  Now, Elizabeth takes pride in her ability to design a solar system, recommend a power protection solution or size up a backup power system with ease.

Elizabeth has recently attended the 2015 SANKALP Conference, representing Sollatek and presenting the Sollatek Fisherman Solar Centre Project, a grant based project awarded to Sollatek by USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge.  The project focus is to provide solar run freezers, lighting and phone charging capabilities to over 7,500 Fisherman and their families along the of Kenyan coast to increase income and reduce wastage.

Biashara Leo recently featured this project,  click here for complete article.

So what does Elizabeth say to all those women and girls struggling in male dominated fields?  “It can be done. It’s a bit scary, but if you are determined, work hard and have an open mind you can do it.”  More and more women are moving into traditionally male dominated fields with this encouragement.  And even more women are concerned about the environment, leading them to enquire after solar products and happily to Elizabeth’s front door.

However it is not just the women,  “Kenyans are looking more and more towards alternative and affordable energy solutions for both their home life and businesses. That’s what we do best here at Sollatek. It’s our bread and butter. I would not have stayed with this company for so long if I did not believe in its quality products, experience and customer care”

Elizabeth sees only good things to come for East Africa as we move towards alternative and renewable energy sources and East African women as they tackle new frontiers.