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 Margaret Flores, Distribution Engineer at Hydro Ottawa.
How did you get involved in the field of asset management?
I started working at Hydro Ottawa as a Distribution Planning Engineer right after graduating from University in 2008. In this role, I participated in the development of the Annual Planning Report which revolves around the principles of asset management.
What excites you most about this field?
Working in asset management, I get to help make decisions that shape the future of the organization. Also, this field is still evolving so there is so much to learn and improve.
What are the most rewarding aspects of the work you do?
Working with people from different parts of the organization and learning how our decisions impact them. In asset management, it is important to keep the big picture in mind and consider the impact in both the short-term and long-term.
What do you think are the biggest challenges?
Data accuracy. To make the best investment decisions, such as what areas need replacement or upgrades, it is important to base them on accurate information. This has certainly gotten better, but there is still room for improvement.
Would you recommend asset management to other women as a career?
Of course! I would recommend asset management as a career to anyone. Being in any work group with great diversity of people makes the team stronger since we can leverage the strengths that each individual brings to the table. Asset management involves such a diversity of skills including engineering, financial, communications, team work, strategic thinking and many more. It provides you the opportunity to showcase your strengths as well as develop areas that need improvement.
To learn more about other women making an impact in this emerging field, feel free to check out these articles featuring:
- Unnur Þorvaldsdóttir, Head of Asset Management at Landsvirkjun
- Marie-Claude Roquet, Chief of Planning and Asset Management at Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie
- Jenna Van Vliet, Supervisor of Asset Planning at Hydro Ottawa
- Donna Keck, Lead Engineer – Business Planning / LRP Support at Duke Energy
- Tracy Martin, Supervisor, Capital Budgeting at PowerStream