Asset Management Is For Women Too (featuring Kim Voypick)By Judi Hess
One thing I have been noticing more and more is the number of women entering the field of Asset Investment Planning & Management (AIPM). In fact, many of Copperleaf’s clients are women who are taking a leading role in their organizations in planning and managing their asset investments more strategically, to minimize risk and create the highest value for their organizations.
Certainly the prevalence of women is not evident by attending an asset management conference…yet. But it occurred to me that this is a great role for women in a field where you might not expect to find many women! And I believe this is the beginning of an exciting trend and would like to highlight some of these women—and the interesting work they’re doing—to establish some role models and shine a light on this as a possible career path for young women.
In this article, we are featuring:
How did you get involved in the field of asset management?
In early 2016, I was approached to be the manager of asset management at Ameren Illinois. My experience in both distribution planning and field engineering had provided me some exposure to asset management, but it was not something I was actively seeking. It seemed like a great opportunity to expand my knowledge.
What attracted you to this field?
The opportunity to use my planning knowledge and actual field experience to help educate others in the company about the benefits of asset management—what we’re doing and why.
What excites you most about this field?
Demonstrating the value that the asset management team delivers to the company. We are in a unique position to pull together corporate strategies, investment drivers, risk analytics, etc., and make funding recommendations that really maximize the value of every dollar we spend.
What are the most rewarding aspects of the work you do?
The team pulls together a comprehensive 5 year capital allocation plan every June/July. When senior leadership ask questions and make comments that demonstrate they are engaged with the analysis and information we are presenting, it’s very rewarding.
Where are you (and your team) making the biggest impact?
The implementation of the Copperleaf C55 software is where we’ve made the biggest impact recently. Replacing our existing “rack and stack” user unfriendly tool with C55, impacts a majority of engineers across the state. During the design/build and implementation processes, we had subject matter experts from almost every department in the company represented. This level of involvement led to a lot of exposure around asset management—what it is, why it’s important, and the benefits it provides.
What do you think are the biggest challenges?
I think our biggest challenge is around keeping the project selection focus centered on our investment drivers, risk analytics, etc. It is easy to slip into “fire drill” mode and respond to immediate circumstances or the latest emergency, and lose track of the plan and our strategies.
Would you recommend asset management to other women as a career?
Yes! From a growth and development perspective, there is a lot of exposure across the company. The opportunity is there to learn, understand, and communicate corporate drivers and strategy. Conversations with senior leadership to field engineers to financial folks are everyday occurrences and lead to important and ongoing relationships.
To learn more about other women making an impact in this emerging field, feel free to check out the rest of the articles in this series here.