IPFA is committed to driving and supporting change with respect to diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the energy, infrastructure and renewable industries.
On International Women’s Day we are recognising and celebrating the achievements of women, those identifying as women, non-binary or any underrepresented gender, as well as male allies.
We are proud to feature over 30 individuals who have been nominated by our international network for their achievements. We invite you to take a look through the nominations below that have been listed at random. Happy International Women’s Day 2023!
Megan has championed gender and wider diversity equality at Equitix. She was a founding member of the Equitix D&I Committee, an initiative pushed by Megan. Megan is not shy about standing up for causes in which she believes – an example would be her persuasive arguments to improve the maternity policy which involved her researching wider provision in the City and then successfully selling her case to senior stakeholders. Megan has an unwavering moral compass which coupled with her highly empathetic nature, makes her a force for good within the business.
Lara Bezuidenhoudt is the leader of the Fasken Johannesburg office, Finance and Projects team as well as the Johannesburg office Chairperson. She is highly regarded for her skills in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and project finance, specifically, infrastructure development. With her in-depth knowledge and experience client’s seek Lara’s counsel when navigating complex transactions. Lara cares deeply about the development of infrastructure lawyers, one of the firm’s values. She strongly believes in nurturing talent. Year-on-year, the firm has successfully promoted and retained talented young infrastructure lawyers into senior associate and partner positions.
Political and Credit Risk Underwriter,
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)
Ama embraces equity in all facets of her life, including her social and professional interactions, by helping to create an inclusive workplace where team members can succeed. As an ardent insurance specialist, Ama has amassed a list of accomplishments. She has taken a leading role in offering insurance cover for financing and the development of projects across Africa, aimed at sustainability and inclusivity. Through various impact projects, she supports young professionals in her network and encourages the empowerment of girls in Ghana in an effort to close the gender gap.
Vice President Construction & Infrastructure,
Elena Theodoropoulos has been nominated for her relentless efforts in challenging gender bias. She is an advocate for gender equity and has made significant contributions to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Construction & Infrastructure industry. Elena has represented large contractors and worked on major infrastructure projects in Canada. As an active member of IPFA’s Future Leaders Network Committee and the Women’s Infrastructure Network, she has empowered women through mentorship programs. Elena’s impact has been profound and she continues to inspire women to break barriers and achieve gender equality.
Head of Private Markets & Head of Infrastructure,
Since joining Cbus in 2020, Alexandra has built a high performance team with a focus on family first and gender equity. The team has successfully deployed substantial capital under Alexandra’s guidance. Historically the infrastructure sector has required long hours in the office. Alexandra is cognisant of the work that is needed for Cbus member outcomes but encouraging of parental duties, the need for parents to be equally involved in raising their children and the corollary of strong mental health and wellbeing with overall quality of work and output.
Clare is tireless in her development of ESG at Vercity, and a champion of FREDIE – Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. She is a key advocate of Menopause support in the organisation, and a highly valued mentor to women developing their careers at Vercity.
Managing Operations Director,
1898 & Co.
As Managing Operations Director at 1898 & Co, Sarah has worked enthusiastically as an agent of change and an advocate for women in the workplace. Through her exceptional leadership skills, she has created a strong culture where her passion for people, entrepreneurialism and integrity set the tone. She is a mentor to women throughout the business, inspiring and encouraging those around her. Often pushing them outside their comfort zones, so that they realise their true capabilities. Her leadership has created a team that can solve problems in unique ways.
Board Member and Business Development Director,
Günay has been doing outstanding work in her area of expertise. Her leadership has inspired many women in a time when gender biases and inequalities discourage young female professionals.
Denita fights for gender equity by having an active role within several groups such as Women in Financial Modelling. She challenges the status quo at work by having an active role within supporting neurodiversity in the workplace. Specifically, she has been mentoring a neurodiverse woman within CubeLynx, aiding her career progression, and developing her employment skills. Denita developed an innovative modelling tool to track and monitor investment for a mental health charity.
Head of Siemens Bank GmbH, London Branch; Head of Specialised Finance Europe/Asia,
Siemens Financial Services
With more than 20 years of experience in power project finance, Jenny has originated and executed 100+ mandates across EMEA with a particular focus on renewables and is an established industry expert. Jenny champions women in the industry by connecting and supporting female talent e.g. the co-creation of an informal Women in Energy network. Within SFS, Jenny is a role-model to aspiring talent and a strong advocate of an equitable workforce through co-chairing SFS’ global DEI group through which she promotes a stronger dialogue on women’s health.
Victoria leads D&I for ING in the UK, where she goes above and beyond in promoting the needs and interests of minorities in and out of the workplace. She looks for innovative ways to promote key issues and topics to a wider audience, working with both internal and external stakeholders to maximise engagement across industry and the organisation. Victoria does this all alongside her demanding full-time role within infrastructure finance, where she recently joined from an accounting background.
Marketing, Bids and Analytics Manager,
I have worked with Lucy for a year now and have been impressed with her work ethic, attitude, and willingness to put in the time for her colleagues beyond the status quo, from welcoming and assisting colleagues, to settling them into the workplace with the minimum of anxiety and stress. Lucy is an excellent representative for the diversity and nature that I feel Vercity is striving and working towards, which is to become a flagship welcoming company, an equitable place to work irrespective of gender race or age.
Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited
Sarah has worked assiduously to develop her skills to a point where she confidently leads market facing discussions on technically complex issues associated with Australia’s energy markets, often in male-dominated forums. In particular, Sarah is lead analyst for several large utilities, and has authored insightful reports on the sector. Sarah is an excellent mentor for junior staff, demonstrating the behaviours and determination that propel people into senior roles.
Simone Bryson is a partner in Fasken’s Johannesburg office. She specialises in banking and finance, financing of projects and infrastructure, public private partnerships, and capital markets. Advising on secured lending transactions, she assists both sponsors and lenders on transactions in the power and energy, including renewable energy, as well as the mining and natural resources sector. In her role Simone takes an astute approach when advising clients, as she recognizes that every deal is unique, and with this comes her perceptive problem-solving skills while being an example to others as a team player.
Vice President, Infrastructure Debt,
Females in finance who grapple with health challenges face an intersection of biases – both conscious and unconscious. These biases often influence perceptions of their intelligence, their authority, and their ability to deliver.
Rachel has met and overcome these biases time and time again. Unashamed of her experiences with chronic pain, depression, and adult-diagnosed neurodiversity, she fights to reduce the stigma around these issues, and calls out the workplace and cultural barriers that persist in many corporates today.
Rachel has 10 years of infrastructure and project finance experience in the Australian and European markets. She was awarded the IJ Global ESG Rising Star in 2021 for her sustainability work at IFM.
Director Director / Founder,
Cecelia continues to influence the cost assurance space in the infrastructure industry. The multidisciplinary steering group of diverse experts, professionals, and member companies she leads continues to provide thought leadership insights concerning the industry via key output reports. She is keen on the sustainable future of infrastructure projects and currently sits on the AICPA / CIMA research and development panel where she contributes to how innovation will drive the industry. The continuous growth of CFBL Consultancy reflects her dedication to the industry and the relationships gained over the years.
Vice President – Team Manager,
Moody’s Investors Service
Surani has been a manager at Moody’s for 6 years. During her tenure as a manager, she was a strong supporter of having female analysts in the project and infrastructure finance team. She always volunteers herself to find new ways of working to achieve a better outcome and supports her staff to broaden their exposure, and skill sets in order to provide them with more career progression opportunity. She challenges them to strike for a higher goal and serves as an inspiring leader to them.
Hlengiwe Zondo-Kabini is experienced in advising on government regulatory, public finance and procurement related issues, that feed into the negotiation and contracting for projects. With regards to procurement and public regulatory, she provides advice on end-to-end procurement process and compliance review, drafting of tenders for publication, drafting of legal opinions and drafting and reviewing of legislation for implementation of projects. Hlengiwe leads in an astute and forthright manner, especially in spending time teaching and supporting junior lawyers. In addition, Hlengi is an advocate for transformation in the legal sector.
Chief Executive Officer,
Global Infrastructure Hub
Marie is a global leader in infrastructure development, frequently one of very few women at G20 table (finance ministers and deputies) and on speaking panels. She is using her visibility and platform to advocate for gender equity, actively supporting other women in infrastructure and actively advocating for equity on a global scale through the adoption of inclusive principles in infrastructure development. At the GI Hub, she led a workplace culture transformation that has created an inclusive, values-driven work environment where 66% of leaders are women.
Katherine has initiated and grown Hollis’ ESG offering by over 900%, developing an integrated ESG model helping clients navigate the fast-changing ESG regulatory environment and advise on how to invest in, develop, manage, and occupy property sustainably. Leading by example, Katherine creates a movement that makes space for women to flourish in an industry that previously hasn’t made room. She creates opportunities to produce a diverse and inclusive workforce, and mentors’ future generations of real estate leaders. Transforming real estate, Katherine’s recent shortlisting for ‘Woman of the Future’ is well-deserved.
Vice President, Global Structured Finance,
SMBC Bank International plc
Oriane is a French American London-educated project finance professional based in Paris, who genuinely cares for her colleagues. Oriane is a culture and diversity champion at SMBC. She has led the SMBC Diversity & Inclusion Paris network for the past 5 years, with the ambition to advocate and support a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Oriane has organized more than 30 events for the 100+ employees, providing training and raising awareness on key topics such as gender equality, disability, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Chief Operating Officer,
Global Infrastructure Hub
Srima began her career as an engineer before transitioning to senior management in international infrastructure and property development companies. At the GI Hub, she is responsible for aligning our operations and strategy. Srima consistently challenges the status quo with humility and collegiality, exploring how workplaces can be more equitable. Bringing a mindset of openness, curiosity, and humour, she leads people to discover what equity looks like in our industry, organisation, and teams. The result is a vision for embracing equity that is inspiring, approachable, and inclusive.
Senior Investment Specialist, New Business,
Sarah worked tirelessly over a couple of years to facilitate the launch of LGIM’s first infrastructure equity fund. Beyond that Sarah enabled both a Cornerstone Close and the acquisition of a seed portfolio in the space of a month with the work done.
Tricia San Cristobal
Chief Product Officer,
As Chief Product Officer, Tricia San Cristobal is responsible for delivering market-differentiating innovations and helping to ensure our company culture is inclusive and empowering to women. Not only has she served as a women-in-technology mentor for the Girl Scouts, but she also started an Employee Resource Group called Women @T-REX that serves as an empowerment and support community across our global offices. Before T-REX, she was responsible for launching Bloomberg’s real-time feeds products that later formed the basis for their Enterprise Products and Solutions Division, showcasing her dedication to innovation.
Vice President – Senior Credit Officer, Project and Infrastructure Finance,
Moody’s Investors Service
Ada is a core member of Moody’s Women Business Resources Group (BRG) and an active member in the multi-cultural and LGBTA BRGs. She is also a founding member and co-host of Moody’s lean-in sessions. As a working mother, she is vocal generally about gender and family inclusive matters. For example, she pursued wellness facilities for breastfeeding mothers who return to the office following childbirth. She is also a frequent speaker and panellist at various investor outreach activities (including IPFA events) and her participation in Moody’s hosted events underscore the importance Moody’s places on diversity.
Ruth Lawrence is the number one champion across all of KPMG trying to address social inequality (especially gender). She has challenged our leadership, including our Global Chairman, to be more proactive in both our operations, but also through the services we provide clients. Equity is the first lens that Ruth puts on everything at work and in life. She is impressively consistent. She brought together a community of experts, led development of a global methodology, and fights tirelessly to see it implemented consistently. This is simply her life work.
Managing Director & Head of Power & Renewables,
SMBC Bank International plc
Ms Caroline Lytton has been leading SMBC’s Power & Renewable team for EMEA region, which is critical for the bank’s effort in supporting to the energy transition. Established an industry leading team in the market, Caroline always goes extra mile to support the team and the clients on all different fronts. She is never afraid of challenges and is always ready to address the challenges with innovative solutions. Caroline supported the development of the International Project Finance Association by performing as a board member.
Jane leads the Transform Schools Stoke project with dignity and respect, no matter what challenge she faces. Her knowledge of such a complex 25-year contract is astounding and she works incredibly hard to deliver a high level of service, she truly cares about keeping our schools safe. She is a fantastic mentor for me. She studied herself while working and inspired me to take up studying for a degree myself.
Senior Vice President,
Moody’s Investors Service
Arnon is a male ally. He fought for gender equity by empowering the female employees in his team to speak up, guiding them to bring out their best and not to be intimidated by any male-dominated culture. He has also elevated my profile within my company by endorsing me to join the Women’s and Diversity steering committee which gave me an opportunity to serve and empower other women on an international stage.
Director, Infrastructure Valuations,
Grant Thornton UK LLP
Jade is a market-leading expert across the global renewable energy sector. Called upon regularly for her insight by many of the world’s largest asset managers enabling the energy transition so urgently required. Always challenging the status quo, a leading female inspiration and admired by all across the sector and within Grant Thornton.
Ha has been working as the head of ESG and infrastructure, government, and healthcare practices for KPMG Vietnam and Cambodia for more than 12 years. Ha is a former co-chairwoman for the Women Corporate Directors in Vietnam, the only organization for women holding directorships with over 900 members. At KPMG, she regularly participates in an initiative “Koffee Klub for Women/Mothers” that facilitates informal coaching and discussion to any employee that chooses to participate. Ha has been actively supporting women’s empowerment in Vietnam over the past years by initiating and leading some activities.
CEO of Siemens Bank GmbH; CEO of Project and Structured Debt Europe/Asia,
Siemens Financial Services
As one of the first financing professionals in the renewables sector in the 1990s, Siobhan can look back on an industry-shaping career where she has proven there is an equal place for females to establish themselves as market leaders.
At SFS, Siobhan creates opportunities, sponsors, and supports those from diverse backgrounds to develop their careers paths. She drives the importance of an inclusive and equitable culture through her sponsorship of the Bank’s DE&I group. Siobhan enables the growth of talent through leading authentically and is an inspirational role-model at SFS.
Senior Investment Officer,
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Thomas led the first women’s economic empowerment-focused PE fund investment at AIIB. He is an advocate for female-led and gender-focused fund investment and a strong supporter of the gender working group at AIIB. Thomas showed relentless effort to make the first gender-focused PE fund investment through the Investment Committee, which eventually received Board approval. He also proactively connects gender-focused fund managers with global impact investment initiatives such as the 2X Challenge and introduces them to global investors to mobilize private capital.
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