Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship alumna, Naureen Alam, talks about her career, imposter syndrome and her passion for impact.
Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship alumna, Naureen Alam, is a chartered chemical engineer and energy leader. As a Senior Manager at AGL, Naureen's stand out strength is bringing together & leading technical, commercial & strategic teams to solve complex challenges in the energy and decarbonisation space.
Reflecting on her career to date, Naureen comments, ‘the common thread has been collaborating to implement innovative technology that not only brings commercial value to a company but improves the environmental and social impact.’
‘That’s what really drives me: helping companies use environmental and social considerations as a competitive advantage’
With this passion as her driving force, Naureen navigated a career transition from the Oil and Gas sector to focus on decarbonisation.
‘I was working on oil and gas production sites,’ Naureen says, ‘working with landowners to drill wells in the regional community, and I became interested in improving social license to operate.’
‘How do we still operate, make a profit and do it in a way that benefits the community and the environment?’
It was this experience that lead Naureen down a path of postgrad study of Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University and to pivoting her career into the decarbonisation space.
In 2021, Naureen was awarded the Emerging Leader in Technology by Women's Agenda for her work implementing artificial intelligence at power generation sites.
As a leader of these projects, Naureen experienced what she called, ‘double imposter syndrome’, yet she overcame her fears and doubts to ‘bring it all together and not just create value but great social and environmental outcomes.’
Navigating imposter syndrome can be difficult. When I asked Naureen how she handles the imposter she described a two-step process. Firstly, she ‘names the shame’ by collecting data points when imposter syndrome feels acute and identifying patterns. Next, she ‘plays devil’s advocate’ to understand what’s really required of her. ‘I take the time to understand different viewpoints, how different people communicate and what people really need from me. I fight my fear by deeply understanding other people so I can meet their needs.’
Naureen has always been a curious person, eager to try new things and step out of her comfort zone. It was this curiosity that led her to join EnergyLab’s Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship in the 2021 cohort.
‘Being an entrepreneur and starting a startup seemed like such a wild and unachievable dream. How could I do that?’
‘What drew me to the fellowship was that it didn’t rely on you to already be on that path. It sounded like a great program for people interested in making an impact in the clean energy and climate space’
Looking back on the Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship, Naureen has grown much from the experience.
‘It gave me confidence that I don’t think I would have had. I went from thinking, 'I could never do that [be an entrepreneur]' to, 'of course I can!' What’s great about the fellowship program is that you see that potential in every other person in the cohort.’
Forever a problem solver, Naureen is currently evaluating different startup ideas and market opportunities to continue her impactful work in the decarbonisation space.
To learn more about Naureen head to her website www.naureenalam.com.
If you are interested in joining EnergyLab's Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship, be sure to fill out an expression of interest form. If you have any questions, email Milly.
Words by Milly Young
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