Deborah Oberon

AllGrid Energy Marketing and Alliance Manager Deborah Oberon has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Clean Energy Council’s Developing Women Directors Scholarship, which aims to get more women in leadership and board positions across the renewable energy sector.

Ms Oberon is part of Aboriginal-owned company AllGrid Energy, whose battery storage technologies were featured in The Fifth Estate’s viral article of 2015.

Announcing the decision to correspond with International Women’s Day, Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said Ms Oberon was a “very worthy” recipient of the scholarship.

“We received more than 30 applications from a range of talented women for the scholarship, and the selection panel was spoilt for choice when it came to choosing a recipient,” Mr Thornton said. “We were overwhelmed by the talent among the women of the sector, reinforcing the benefit of the scholarship to encourage women to step up to board roles.

“Deborah was the stand out candidate due to her commitment and passion for the industry and diversity of life experience. The selection panel felt that Deborah will take full advantage of this scholarship, and through her leadership and business acumen, has the potential to make a positive and sustained contribution to boardrooms across the renewable energy sector for many years to come.”

Ms Oberon said she was honoured to be chosen as the scholarship recipient.

“It is truly a great honour to win this scholarship,” she said. “Research consistently shows that gender parity on boards delivers a range of better business outcomes and reduces the significant pay gap that exists between men and women.

“I find it incredibly exciting to be a part of the clean energy industry. As the traditional energy models begin to shift and change, this industry is an essential part of the pathway to a sustainable future.

“This industry has the potential to provide an inspiring foundation for other industries to evolve their corporate cultures to offer a level playing field for women, and more holistic models of inclusion.”

Mr Thornton said the award aligned with International Women’s Day’s global theme of “pledge for parity”. The scholarship aimed to achieve parity by helping women complete the Australian Institute of Directors’ Foundations of Directorship course, he said.

“Through this annual scholarship, the clean energy industry hopes to see a direct increase in the representation of women on company boards, and build leadership capability and skills across the industry.”

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