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International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023

Saturday 11th February marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This UN recognised day advocates for access and participation for women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

According to the Office For National Statistics, in 2019 only 24% of those working in STEM identified as women. By 2030, this is only predicted to reach 29%. At BeZero we’re proud to be bucking the trend, with over 40% of our team identifying as women. But, we know there is still more to be done. This is one of the reasons we’ve launched Women in Carbon; read on to find out more about the initiative. 

To celebrate the day, we’ve interviewed three women from across BeZero on their experiences working in the industry and their advice for women starting out in their careers. If you are interested in working in climate tech, we have a number of openings on our careers page.

Dr Clarissa Fontes, Carbon Rating Scientist

Based in Brasília, Brazil

Q: Hi Clarissa, you’re one of our rating scientists here at BeZero. Can you tell us about your role?

My role is to review carbon projects in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) and assess their risk. My expertise is forestry; I am currently reviewing two Peruvian nature-based projects by working with publicly available data, checking for inconsistencies, and doing background checks on the information provided. 

Q: Where did you develop your expertise in forestry? 

I come from an academic background. I did a Masters Degree at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), a PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and two post-doctorates at the University of Minnesota and the University of Brasilia. 

During my three years at INPA, I worked in the Amazon Rainforest collecting data first-hand to understand the impacts of fire on plant productivity, growth and survival. I find my experience really helps me when I now research carbon projects as I can visualise the steps taken to collate that data and what its limitations might be. 

The fieldwork I completed could be pretty challenging at times, as a woman working with local people I wasn’t always respected or listened to. I did manage to overcome this by building one-on-one relationships, but I’ve heard similar stories from other women in my position.

Q: Who in the industry do you admire?

One woman that really comes to mind is Wangari Maathai. She was the first African Woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and founded The Green Belt Movement, an NGO advocating for Women’s rights and environmental issues.

Camille Pêtre, Chief Financial Officer

Based in London, UK

Q: Hi Camille, as our CFO here at BeZero, what does your role entail on a day-to-day basis?

My primary role is to manage the company’s financials and to ensure that the company is on

track to meet its goals. This includes managing the budget, creating financial projections and reports, managing cash flow, overseeing accounting and tax functions, and providing financial advice to the executive team.

As the CFO of BeZero Carbon in particular, I also advocate for the Voluntary Carbon Market. My responsibility is to help raise awareness of the VCM’s importance in achieving the net zero goals.

Q: In addition to your role as CFO, you recently launched the Women in Carbon Initiative. What’s the purpose and aim behind creating this initiative?

The objective is to create a support network, and a safe and caring environment to empower and amplify the voices of women in the industry by fostering collaboration and connection. If you’re interested in hearing updates as we continue to develop Women in Carbon this year, sign up for our email updates

In the long term, we hope this will help increase the number of women who work in climate and carbon for generations to come.

Q: What’s the best advice you’d give to women wanting to enter a similar career? 

It may sound cliché, but your career is a marathon and not a sprint. Make sure you enjoy the journey as much as the end result!

Elena Aguirre Martín, Head of Ratings Operations

Based in Bilbao, Spain

Q: Hi Elena, can you tell us about your role as Head of Ratings Operations?

I am in charge of delivering our ratings, which means I am in touch with almost every part of the business from the data analysts and ratings scientists, to the commercial managers and marketing team. As you can imagine, it involves a lot of planning, identifying priorities and ensuring everyone is informed and happy.

Q: Can you tell us about your career journey before this role?

At university I studied chemical engineering and after my degree I started working for a climate change consultancy. That’s where I really got to understand the problems the corporate and industrial worlds face in a very firsthand way, as well as the solutions that are out there. From there, I found BeZero which felt like a great opportunity to apply the knowledge I had to a broader audience, which I have done in my various positions here, from Lead Decarbonisation Consultant to Co-Head of Net Zero Research, to my current role as Head of Ratings Operations. 

Q: Finally, do you have any lessons you would pass on to other women?

I would say try not to compare yourself to anyone else. Our differences are what makes us special and we all deserve a place in this amazing space that we work in. 

If you’re interested in joining the BeZero team, please check the job openings on our careers page.