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Asha Pawar, Aline Pate and Claire Hughes Munro. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: On International Women’s Day (IWD), the world celebrates the contributions of women, and the notable feats they achieved in scientific, cultural, intellectual, economic, social and political fields.

Women’s role in the renewables industry is invaluable — and is on the rise.

The global renewable energy employs about 32 per cent women, according to a report by Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). That is compared to 22% in the energy sector overall, according to the report.


Gulf News met three executive women leaders of Masdar City who spoke about the significant roles they play in Abu Dhabi’s sustainability journey.

Balancing responsibilities

Aline Pate is a real estate professional and a senior development manager in Masdar City, hails from Germany. She shares challenged faced by working mothers: “I have proven that it’s possible to excel in both personal and professional spheres. Despite facing the challenges of being a working mother and entrepreneur, I have managed to balance my responsibilities with grace and determination.

“My entrepreneurial spirit has also driven me to start my own ventures and make a name for myself in the tech industry.”

About her achievements: “I have been able to design and deliver R&D office spaces, that are more environmentally sustainable than other developments in this region. We are also currently constructing a new “net zero energy” building.

A day to celebrate

Asha Pawar, 41, from India, a transportation manager in Masdar City, said this about her job: “We are trying to create a sustainable city, so we focus more on enhancing pedestrian options and the environment so you wouldn’t need a car within Masdar City.”

“So when any new developer joins Masdar City, I do an analysis of the layout from a traffic and transportation perspective starting from the concept, and so on,” she said.

Her thoughts on the International Women’s Day: “It means a lot to me. I feel this is a day to celebrate gender balance and the social economic development of women — especially back home in India and across the Middle East.”

Day for gratitude

Claire Hughes Munro, head of Property Management and Leasing at Masdar City, is from Scotland. She has been working in the UAE for 15 years. About 10 years ago, she was the first female to get a Fellowship from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the region.

Her thoughts about International Women’s Day: “I believe this is a day for gratitude and pride for the special women in our lives, and for acknowledging our own personal values. It is a day to recognise the unique challenges we face as women and all that we achieve in spite of them.

“To truly appreciate our ability to organise, adapt, reconcile, and soothe – and to laugh at the craziness of the juggle, our near misses, and total failures yet we continue trying (I could write a book)!”

“As women, we can be too humble in celebrating our achievements and declaring our efforts, so this is a day for unabashedly doing so,” she said.