One of the main goals of the TEAD Programme is to empower women working in the energy sector in Ukraine. As part of our new interview series we interviewed Women Energy Ambassadors from all over Ukraine, telling about their experiences and successes,but also about the barriers they encounter while working in a still male dominated energy sector.
Meet Olena Borychenko, an Associate Professor of the Department of Electricity Supply at the National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (NTUU KPI). Her journey in the energy sector is nothing short of inspiring, and she’s on a mission to empower women working in this male-dominated field across Ukraine.
Olena’s passion for energy auditing ignited during her time at the institute. She embarked on her professional career in 2006, specializing in energy audits of industrial enterprises. Her initial roles involved data collection, process calculations, and determining energy balances within industrial setups. Eager to expand her knowledge, she dove into advanced training courses, setting the stage for a remarkable career.
One of her earliest projects was the “Energy Management in Municipalities” with GIZ, where she conducted numerous energy audits, including the notable Titan enterprise. Olena’s collaboration extended to Energy Management PRO LLC, where she played an integral role in energy audits and the implementation of energy management systems in various enterprises.
Olena’s leadership skills shone through as she assumed the role of project manager for the “Energy Efficient Campuses” project, sponsored by USAID at NTUU KPI. Together with her students, she prepared an insightful energy report on dormitories and academic buildings, earning high praise for their energy-saving initiatives on campus.
Her expertise isn’t confined to one sector – she’s been a financial expert reviewing energy audit reports for 65 enterprises across dairy, bakery, machine-building, and construction materials industries, all under the GIZ umbrella. She even undertook an energy audit of the Three Bears enterprise with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Her role as a national expert for the implementation of energy management systems in industrial enterprises with UNIDO has been instrumental in promoting energy efficiency.
Olena is passionate about education and knowledge sharing. She actively contributes to developing training programs and conducting seminars for industrial enterprises. Her commitment to continuous improvement is evident in her active participation in international projects, training courses, and workshops.
Her belief in the importance of accessible information resources for energy auditors and enterprises is unwavering. Olena advocates for creating platforms that provide comprehensive information on grant projects and programs from donors and banks, ensuring everyone has a chance to tap into available resources.
Currently, Olena serves as the guarantor of an educational program in energy management and energy-efficient technologies. Her dedication to the next generation is evident as she imparts her professional experience to students. She actively involves employers in training and lectures for students, allowing them to witness the practical side of the industry, ultimately inspiring them to pursue careers in energy auditing.
For those aspiring to follow in Olena’s footsteps, her advice is clear: “Acquire new knowledge, stay updated with the latest industry trends, participate in training programs, and gain practical experience in energy audits. Don’t be discouraged by your gender – have confidence in yourself. Continuously improve your skills and knowledge.”
Olena Borychenko’s journey in the energy sector is a testament to what dedication, passion, and unwavering determination can achieve. Her work not only contributes to the growth of the energy industry but also paves the way for more women to thrive in this vital field.