Farina Farrier joined ENA in 2017 as the Project Manager for the Open Networks Project, having previously worked in the energy sector in a range of roles over the 11 years, on three different continents. The Open Networks Project is a flagship ENA project that is laying the foundations for the smart grid in Great Britain, by transforming the role of grid infrastructure in our energy system.
How did I get into the energy industry?
My energy story started back in 2008 in Pakistan when I was a fresh engineering graduate and had accepted a hands-on field engineering role with Schlumberger, a specialist oil field service provider. Being one of the first women to be placed in rig operations in Pakistan, I was very keen to break down barriers and pave the path for other women to become a part of this industry. Schlumberger gave me the opportunity to become a part of the global energy community and during my three years in this role, there was never a dull moment – from rigging up equipment on the rig floor to leading client meetings back at base.
In 2012, I completed a master’s degree in engineering management and continued my journey in the energy industry through a project management role with Jemena, a multi-utility infrastructure company. I delivered a range of infrastructure construction and process transformation projects driven by the need to operate more efficiently and improve processes for customers. This was a great opportunity for me learn how energy is actually delivered to homes and the role that networks play in the wider energy landscape.
Building on this, I am now working with ENA on the Open Networks project that is leading the energy transition for electricity networks in the UK. I am proud to be at the forefront of this change and would say that there couldn’t be a better time to be in the energy industry!
What appeals to me about energy networks?
Energy networks play a key role in the day to day lives of people and are vital to the economy. With the energy revolution underway, it is a great time be a part of the challenge and the solution that will empower customers and will enable a sustainable future.
What can be done to attract more women to the industry?
Having worked in the energy industry for 11 years across different continents, I am proud to say that the companies that I have worked for have done a great job at empowering their employees, both men and women. The industry should continue to promote diversity in the workforce with recognition that offering work life balance is a key enabler for retaining talent.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).