WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Awards are now in their fourth year.
The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions.
Over the year’s, the awards have recognised 400 women across the UK and India.
In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a Rising Star award.
First we spoke with Yodaly Sierra-Rubio, who won a 2018 Rising Star Award in Facilities, Property & Construction.
Yodaly Sierra-Rubio is a Senior Energy Strategist, with eight years of experience in Oil, Gas, Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Yodaly has wide experience on the Energy Demand Side and Finance solutions for small and large Corporate organizations in the EALA region, she is also an Energy Finance Lecturer at City University of London and she has spoken in 15+ conferences worldwide including the European Commission and COP21. She is passionate for Colombia and dancing Salsa.
How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a Rising Star award?
I felt mesmerized! It was very early, I was getting ready for work, I was brushing my teeth and checking my emails over the phone at the same time. I usually delete most of the spam I receive (gym membership, travel discounts, etc) and I was about to ignore the WATC email, but I opened and Wow! I screamed, I jumped and run from the bathroom to the Livingroom, still with the toothbrush in my mouth! Quite a morning. Then, at the office I was very quiet, trying to find the right moment to share the news when a couple of colleges asked “why the happy face?” and “why the stain in my blazer?”, I answered, “oh nothing, just jumping while brushing my teeth…. Because I won the Rising Star award”, then it just snowballed.
Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the Rising Star awards?
After the award, my career changed beautifully. I changed my job and company just at the same time I received the award, at the new company (Accenture) I got showcased over the intranet almost three times, one on my immediate work group (Energy and Sustainability), another on the UK Procurement newsfeed and a third on the Global Operations monthly update. I connected with other winners inside of the company and tried to arrange a network of female leaders; the Managing Director (MD) connected me with another MD that is very active on inclusion and diversity and gave me mentorship sessions, also, asked for my input on new ideas to promote female leadership across the business. Outside of the company, I became a member of the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) and WOB (Women on Boards), where I became a mentor and mentee. I got invited to speak at two European Energy conferences and to support campaigns to reduce waste food while helping homeless in London. The importance is not the award nor your knowledge, but the connections and impact that you generate with them.
What advice would you give to someone else going through our award’s process?
My three-stage advice will be: to be honest, not to be shy and talk to your mentor. Tell your story in a way that is easy for people from all backgrounds to understand why you are good at something and give examples they can relate to, i.e: in the Energy world, is easier to talk about money and saved trees than kWhs and p/therms. Ask advice from your mentor and grab a tea with her/him, discuss your accomplishments vs. challenges, and write bullet points on a napkin, this way it will be easier to have a clear story line. Long time ago, a wise mentor told me: “you truly know a topic if you can explain it on a napkin”. If you want to be a Rising Star, always be the best version of you.
What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?
I don’t want to repeat what you read over and over about career enhancement. What has truly help me grow across the year are my Mentors (special acknowledgment to Anastasia Petrova and Ian Shaw) and my ability to re-learn. Four years ago, I was an Energy Management expert, now I’m an Energy Finance Strategist and I’m already changing to Smart Energy Supply. Life is about taking bits and pieces of information and shape-shifting to what the market is lacking. Another recommendation is to look for opportunities beyond developed countries, you might have more impact in untapped markets in developing countries, than in the usual comfort-zone horizons.
To finalize, I would like to offer my advice; find me on LinkedIn (Yodaly Sierra Rubio) and I’ll happily share a cup of tea with you. A Rising Star will always be keen to meet passionate people.