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In the lead up to this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’re profiling some of Enzen’s most inspirational female leaders and learning what motivates them to achieve excellence. First in our series is Uma Rajarathnam, Global Head of Energy Transition Advisory based in Bangalore, who has built an international career at the vanguard of energy innovation.

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My career journey

I embarked on my professional journey in the area of energy and the environment, with a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences and a PhD in the field of renewable energy. Throughout the past three and a half decades, I have spearheaded numerous research initiatives with a primary focus on climate change, air pollution, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and exploring the interconnectedness between the environment and human health.

My collaboration with esteemed organizations such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency has given me a diverse and extensive perspective on our industry. It has also shed light on how we can leverage collective expertise to attain a state of net zero emissions.

My role at Enzen

At Enzen, I lead the energy transition advisory practice. In my role, I leverage my knowledge and experience to foster partnerships and find solutions with fellow innovators in the energy transition field. I take a comprehensive approach to understanding how our industry can effectively move towards achieving net zero emissions. It involves striking a balance between environmental, economic, and social aspects, with support from an interdisciplinary approach, to discover innovative solutions.

At Enzen, we believe in bringing together the best and brightest people from around the world to collaborate, learn, apply, share, and improve. This is how we can drive positive, sustainable change and deliver positive outcomes of real value.

I love my work because

It gives me the satisfaction that I contribute to a clean environment and a better world. Another reason why I love my work is because it provides me with constant challenges. Each day brings new tasks and projects that require me to think creatively and problem-solve. This keeps me on my toes and prevents monotony from setting in. The challenges push me to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.

DRIVING INNOVATION: Uma is focused on finding new solutions to accelerate the drive to net zero

My proudest achievements include

… contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s research into addressing global warming, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007. I was part of the advisory panel in the World Health Organisation when it revised the global air quality guidelines in 2005.

More recently in 2020, I was also named by Solar Quarter magazine as one 'Asia's Most Influential Women in Renewable Energy'. I’ve been lucky to work with many talented people who are dedicated to influencing the clean energy industry and driving positive change in policy-making.

My advice to women

… who want to progress their careers in the energy sector is to believe in yourself. There are more opportunities than ever before. If you stay curious, keep learning and never give up on your dreams, you’ll be able to accomplish so much. I believe the main factor that will ultimately determine any professional woman’s success will be her ability to innovate. In today’s highly competitive industries and economies, women who can discover new ways to be more efficient, excellent and enterprising will become beacons that inspire action in everyone else.

My motivation

… is my family. My sons, daughter-in-law, and husband motivate me to be the best I can be and remind me to channel my energy into investing in the future. As an industry, we are responsible for harnessing our resources, knowledge, and expertise responsibly and intelligently for the common good. Family makes you realize the urgency of that mission.

We can inspire more women into our sector by

… showing them they have the opportunity to do truly transformative work that can leave a lasting legacy. I like to use the phrase ‘moonshot thinking’, which means delivering breakthrough ideas that serve the common good. Every woman with a willingness to learn, a passion for positive change, and a determination to make a difference can shoot for the moon!


To learn more about Uma's expertise and career journey, contact her at

Published: 4 Mar 2024

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