Celebrating women at the Midlands Net Zero Hub for International Women’s Day

At the Midlands Net Zero Hub, we are proud that 51% of our team are women, but that gender parity isn’t reflected across the wider industry. According to research by LinkedIn, in 2021 only 62 women for every 100 men were considered ‘green talent’ – meaning they work in relevant jobs or advertised green skills.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, we are celebrating our fantastic female colleagues in the Midlands Net Zero Hub. This week, we are speaking to the inspiring women who are supporting the region to reach net zero about their successes, motivations, and words of advice for women who would like to enter the sector.

First up is Serena Bacuzzi, Regional Net Zero Project Officer, who was one of the original team members from when the Hub was set up in 2018.

What is your role at the Hub?

I am the Regional Net Zero Projects Officers for the Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Staffordshire areas. I provide capacity and capability support to local authorities and other regional stakeholders in those areas to help them identify, initiate, and deliver net zero projects.

What made you want to get into the net zero sector?

I was born and grew up in the north of Italy by the Alps mountain range. While growing up, I could already see the impact that climate change was having on natural landmarks I cherished. Glaciers were retreating at fast pace and some have now completely disappeared putting the livelihood of communities in the valley at risk.

Since primary school, I knew my mission was to save the glaciers and the planet, so I went on to get a degree in Environmental Science, and as part of my dissertation I have analysed historical signs of Climate Change on the Antarctic Ice.

That climate is changing is a fact, and my mission through my career has been to encourage more sustainable practices and behaviours at all levels of society.

What has been your greatest success?

Receiving the Sustainable Professional Award from EAUC (The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education) for the work I have done as a Sustainability Officer at a Further Education College in the Midlands.

An example of a project I am proud to have delivered in that role is the installation of a 50kW array of solar photovoltaic panels at no cost for the college. This project not only has helped the college reduce energy consumption and make financial savings, but it has become a real-world learning tool for the students.

What role has the Hub played in supporting your journey?

The Hub is like a family to me, it’s been there through some of the hardest times of my life and helped me to develop and grow personally and professionally. It has also allowed me to meet lots of amazing and very knowledgeable people.

Do you have any advice for women who want to work in sustainability?

Encouraging change is one of the most difficult challenges for sustainability professionals. It takes time – so patience, determination and passion are key. All qualities that a woman doesn’t lack, so the more women in sustainability the better!

You won’t be disappointed… it is so rewarding to see people and organisations sharing the same sustainability goals and working together to make an organisation, city, region, and country a better place to live for our generation and generation to come.

Join us tomorrow for another story from our inspirational team!