María, thanks for giving H2 View your time. We’re celebrating the women working in hydrogen this International Women’s Day. So, what first sparked your interest in hydrogen and working in this industry?
María De la Cruz (MDC): Thank you for inviting me to this interview.
Working in this industry represents to me, to work for a clean and sustainable future. Green Hydrogen can make a big contribution for the planet and future generations. I am proud to be working for the creation of this market and very glad to see the huge interest of different stakeholders to make this happen fast.
What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path?
MDC: I am an Industrial Engineer and hold a MSc in Carbon Management. I am very thankful of the diversity of matters that I can understand as well as the different types of jobs that I could work in. I am happy to have chosen a science related career that has provided me with the ability to have such flexibility.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. What does this mean to you? And what advice would you give to women experiencing bias and unconscious bias?
MDC: The bias has not prevented me from fulfilling myself professionally. This might mean that it happened unconsciously. However, I agree that it is something we all must work to avoid this continue happening.
My pieces of advice are not to be afraid of telling ideas and points of view, dare to show what you know and what you are capable of, and do not put limits to yourself to accomplish your dreams.
What are the challenges facing women in hydrogen today, especially the next generation?
MDC: For its strong connection with the environment, detailed and protective nature, I believe women are very well prepared to work in all topics related to sustainability. I think challenges will be more for the side of overcoming gender barriers to show their capabilities and skills.
Tell us about one woman who has positively impacted you in your career? What lesson did she teach you?
MDC: I have been lucky to have known strong and sharp women along my career, like Dorothy Thompson, former CEO of Drax Power. Her vision and courage to lead a greener transformation in a very male-dominated environment -such as a coal fired station- was very admirable.
Finally, what’s the key message you’d like to get across for International Women’s Day?
MDC: Women have natural skills to work on sustainable jobs. Climate Action requires design, create, and implement multiple solutions. To achieve this talented and diverse workforce are women needed. Gender equality is also a climate solution. The call is to join forces and be a part of the energy transition to protect our planet.