Meet Patricia Alvina, Lead Project Engineer, ENGIE Lab

Women In Sustainability

Empowerment Through Female Leadership

With a goal to alleviate global poverty by tapping into renewable energy, Patricia focuses on the ways she can contribute to the sustainability space.

As the Lead Project Engineer in ENGIE, Patricia’s work involves facilitating project teams, structuring timelines, managing stakeholders' supports, and conducting risk analysis, to ensure the smooth progression of ENGIE’s projects.

I facilitate and ensure progression of innovative and sustainability projects in the lab and bring them one step closer toward commercialization,” shares Patricia. “As a female project lead in the lab, I bring a unique perspective and skill set of half the world’s population that could potentially be users of sustainable technology.

She feels a strong sense of camaraderie in the workplace with her colleagues as they all work towards achieving common goals.

Sustainability As A Solution For Global Poverty

In the early days of her career, Patricia had opportunities to travel and work in developing countries such as the Maldives, Philippines, Indonesia and other parts of Asia.

Some of these trips took her to remote islands, where she managed the deployment of hybrid wind turbine and solar system technologies in the Maldives archipelago.

“From a personal standpoint, I see sustainability as an enabler of poverty alleviation,” she shares. “I learned that people who earn significantly less than what we earn here in Singapore had to pay so much more than what we pay for electricity. In remote locations like many of Indonesia’s islands, people rely more on diesel generators which are simpler to use. However, this is more expensive over the long-term, trapping them in a cycle of poverty.”

Patricia believes that improving the reliability and stability of renewable technology could help those living in remote areas and developing countries to enjoy lower electricity costs. Thus, giving them a fighting chance to be released from the shackles of poverty.

Due to these past experiences, she holds sustainable technologies close to her heart and it has become an important part of her life.

“I want to be part of the team that brings this technology to maturity and makes it available for the mass market,” she reveals.

Towards Gender Equality

Coming from an industry largely driven by males, Patricia feels that women have lots to offer and contribute.

She encourages females out there not to be afraid to pursue their studies or careers in male-dominated industries, be it in technology or engineering subject.

Back when Patricia was studying Civil Engineering in her university days, there were only five females in her cohort.

She hopes that this changes in the future and that women who have a keen interest in engineering move in that direction, despite the common perception that engineering school is traditionally male-dominated.

In the face of innovation, our unique opinions matter,” she says. “Technology development is not only for men. We should recognize and embrace our uniqueness as this empowers us to bring our unique opinion to the table.

She pursued a career in ENGIE to inspire other women and lead by example, to show that females can lead technology-based project management. Patricia credits her progress in ENGIE to the encouragement and guidance received from the multitude of female mentors and leaders in the company.

I encourage women to look for female role models to help inspire them to pursue their dreams, Patricia shares.

To Patricia, gender equality means doing work and sharing opinions without being judged based on looks and personal preference. She believes that women should find their own identity and embrace their uniqueness.

Turning Perceived Weaknesses Into Strengths

In society, women tend to be more emotional, which sometimes leads to the idea that they lack decisiveness and are afraid to take risks.

“Having compassion and empathy is not a sign of weakness,” Patricia concludes. “Instead, it means we can relate to people and also empower our team to facilitate, collaborate and innovate. We should take this as a strength, not as a weakness.”