Jeanette Mwendwa Gitobu, 27

Director

Women in Wind
My Story

You cannot talk about Jeanette without talking about wind energy. Hers is a common name in policy-making circles and among advocacy groups.

To have such a broad influence, she has had to wear many hats. She is the Director of the Women in Wind, (WiW), a global leadership programme and Senior Policy Advisor for Africa at the Global Wind Energy Council, (GWEC), the international trade association for the global wind power industry.

At WiW, she is responsible for the strategy and success of the leadership programme while at GWEC she uses her expertise to shape the African wind market policy framework.

Promoting the role of women as agents of change in society is dear to her. As the head of the WiW programme, she is in a position to help accelerate the careers of women in the wind industry, support their pathway to leadership positions, and foster a global network of mentorship, knowledge-sharing, and empowerment.

"Failure has always been my best teacher because it reveals what is not working, allowing me to pivot and learn an alternative strategy to meet my intended objective."

Jeanette also plays a role within GWEC on curriculum development. She is responsible for the quality of the candidates and has a keen focus on setting ambitious targets to ensure both high calibre and diverse cohorts benefit from the programme.

Previously, she worked at Windlab, a global renewable energy development company, where she was the first African woman and youth to sign 1,700 landowners to Africa’s first-of-its-kind 90-megawatt hybrid renewable power project in Meru.

The project combines wind turbines, solar PV technology, and battery storage capabilities, and will connect directly to the national grid, providing a cheap and sustainable source of electricity.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, US.

What motivates her? “Excellence, hard work, patience, adaptability, resilience, consistency, the ability to learn from my failures, and asking for support where needed are some of the qualities that have made me stand out in a male-dominated field.”

“Failure has always been my best teacher because it reveals what is not working, allowing me to pivot and learn an alternative strategy to meet my intended objective. This learning process contributes to my success because by overcoming my limitations, I have an opportunity to apply what I have learned to conquer the next challenge I encounter.”

Some life lessons she lives by are: Even on the darkest days, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel; No one is coming to save you; Never fail to try more; Live and let live; Walk your path because people like to judge other people; have courage and be kind.

Karen Muriuki