March8 Mentorship: Jeanette Mwendwa Gitobu

As an energy sector professional, Jeanette Gitobu is driven to master the art and science of providing innovative solutions to complex problems.

As an energy sector professional, Jeanette Gitobu is driven to master the art and science of providing innovative solutions to complex problems. We’re excited to welcome Jeanette onto the March8 Mentorship Programme, so she can share the wealth of experience she has to offer with one of our lucky mentees. 

With extensive experience in the oil and renewable energy industries in Kenya, Jeanette holds the position of Director for the Women in Wind Global Leadership Programme and is a Policy Advisor at the Global Wind Energy Council. 

Prior to this experience, Jeanette worked at Windlab, an Australian-based global renewable energy development company that specialised in wind mapping the entire planet to find premiere wind sites to then construct and operate high quality wind farms. Through this experience, Jeanette became the first African woman to sign over 1,700 landowners, which she describes as one of her toughest challenges yet. 

“When I have a big problem that I need to solve, I focus on splitting it up into three or four points so I can break it down into manageable parts,” Jeanette says. “Signing 1,700 landowners was a very big task, mainly because it has never been done before, but I was lucky to be surrounded by a team who gave me a lot of support and guidance.”

But Jeanette didn’t always aspire to pursue a career in renewable energy – in fact, it was quite the opposite. “I was set on entering the finance sector after studying Economics at college, but of course, life happens and you have to take opportunities that come your way,” Jeanette explains. After graduating from college, Jeanette returned home to Kenya and decided that she wanted to do something to make a difference to the country. It was then that she was presented with a role at the Kenya Pipeline Company – and she never looked back.

Throughout her career, Jeanette was supported by mentors, who helped to guide her to the path she is on now. “I knew I wanted to be a mentor for the March8 Mentorship Programme as I would not be where I am without the mentors, sponsors, and supporters who took a chance on me throughout my career journey,” Jeanette  says. 

“Mentors support growth, serve as sources of knowledge, offer encouragement, and serve as trusted allies to their mentees. I wish to pay forward the opportunity that was given to me by helping someone else meet their intended milestones by serving as a source of encouragement and support for their dreams, visions, and aspirations.”

Although renewable energy is primarily a male-dominated industry, Jeanette eagerly encourages more women to enter the field. “I say go for it! The future is in renewables and energy transition is one of the key discussions across all governments all around the world. I would love to see more women getting involved in the sector, as it really does offer an opportunity of a lifetime.”