Net-Zero Transition News

Women in Hydrogen: Q&A with Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director at Bosch; and Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK

Ahead of Madano’s sponsorship of Women in Hydrogen 50 2023 on 14 June, a reception that highlights women’s voices and the diversity within the hydrogen industry, we are profiling two boundary-pushing UK hydrogen leaders with whom we work closely.

Below, Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK and Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director at Bosch share their thoughts and experiences of working in this exciting and growing sector.

Madano works with various clients across the hydrogen value chain and are thrilled to be sponsoring this event and celebrating 50 women leaders. If you would like to learn more about our hydrogen service offering, please get in touch at [email protected].

Left: Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK; Right: Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director at Bosch
Left: Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK; Right: Eman Martin-Vignerte, Director at Bosch

1. How did you end up working in hydrogen?

Eman: As an engineer with a passion for emerging technologies that can have a positive impact on the planet, I have spent the past 20 years exploring various sectors at Bosch. However, my fascination with the potential of low carbon hydrogen to transform our lives led me to establish Hydrogen for Life three years ago. Our team is dedicated to bringing this crucial topic to the mainstream and we are thrilled to be hosting a high-profile event at the Science Museum this year. With global experts from government, industry, commerce, and consumer worlds, we aim to make clean hydrogen a major part of our future energy source.

Clare: I was working for an energy policy consultancy and one of the first accounts I got given was working with Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells on market development and policy engagement activities. I was totally hooked by hydrogen and became increasingly convinced that Net Zero just wasn’t possible without hydrogen playing a key role. When the opportunity arose to bring together organisations that were leading on hydrogen to develop a common vision for hydrogen in the UK and to work with the Government to make that vision a reality, needless to say I jumped at it!

2. What changes would you like to see in the industry to allow women to be even more successful and prominent?

Eman: I believe that one of the key changes we need to see is greater representation of women in hydrogen, with a platform for them to share their unique perspectives. Diversity is crucial and we are committed to ensuring that our events, like Hydrogen for Life, prioritise this across the entire agenda. Encouraging women and individuals from different cultures and ethnicities to have their voices heard is essential to inspire others and showcase what is possible.

Clare: The energy sector has traditionally been a male dominated industry, however things are changing and changing fast. I see so many inspirational women doing great things in the hydrogen space which is only going to encourage more women into this exciting industry. I feel super proud that Hydrogen UK is led by two women (big shout out to the amazing Angie Needle!).

3. What are your tips for women considering working in the hydrogen industry?

Eman: My advice is simple: if you're interested, go for it! Seek out other women in the industry and start a conversation. With the hydrogen sector growing rapidly, there has never been a better time to consider a role in this field. Think big, be open-minded, and attend events like Hydrogen for Life to learn as much as possible about the possibilities in the hydrogen industry and meet other professionals in the field.

Clare: Firstly, a massive encouragement that this is a brilliant industry to be working in. It’s exciting, fast paced and offers lots of opportunities to anyone wanting to build their career whilst tackling one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today in climate change. There are plenty of different skills and roles that we’re going to need if we’re going to make hydrogen at scale a reality, so find something that fits your area of interest and skillset. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and to learn from the people around you, we’re blessed with some really experienced and talented people in the industry so take advantage! And lastly, get stuck in and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, no-one every changed the world by playing it safe and in the hydrogen sector we’re all about changing the world! (NOTE: this mentality doesn’t apply to the handling of hydrogen, when designing and deploying projects we LOVE safety!)

4. Who is your biggest career inspiration and why?

Eman: My biggest inspirations come from unexpected sources, from conversations with young graduates to creating events that bring together the entire hydrogen sector to move forward as one. Being in a position to guide and inspire others in their career journeys is a privilege and a constant source of inspiration for me.

Clare: There have been lots of amazing people (men and women!) who have inspired me over the years. Right now, I feel hugely inspired by the amazing team that I get to work with at Hydrogen UK. They are ridiculously talented and committed to delivering day in day out on behalf of the industry to make the UK one of the best places in the world to develop and deploy hydrogen solutions. Plus, they put up with me!

5. Where do you see yourself and the hydrogen sector in 10 years?

Eman: Despite the challenges we face in the world today, I am an optimist. In 10 years, I see myself continuing to build networks and opportunities within the clean energy sector. I believe that industries struggling to decarbonise will have made significant progress, thanks to green hydrogen, which will have emerged as a major energy source for our future.

Clare: In 10 years, I see hydrogen playing a key role in delivering clean affordable energy across the UK whilst delivering energy security and system resilience. As for me, hopefully I’ll still be doing everything I can to play my part in supporting the industry through the next chapter of hydrogen’s story.