Enass Abo-Hamed
Photo: Harry Parvin

Enass is an activist, businesswoman and entrepreneur. She co-founded H2GO, an engineering company developing new ways to store clean energy when she was 28.

Although Enass has always been an activist at heart, it was only during a trip to Africa when studying for her PhD that she realised how much of a luxury electricity was, with some hospitals only receiving power for 12 hours of the day. For Enass, engineering is simply about wanting to solve a problem and having the passion and the imagination to create a solution.

Enass is a part of This is Engineering Day, a day created by the Royal Academy of Engineering to celebrate the world-shaping engineering that exists all around us but often go unnoticed, as well as the engineers who make this possible. As part of This is Engineering Day, the Royal Academy of Engineering has announced plans to create a new virtual museum named The Museum of Engineering Innovation, which can be accessed through QR Codes dotted around the country as well as by visiting Google Arts and Culture. To view the first collection of exhibits, which include Jonnie Peacock’s running blade, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-engineering-innovation. #BeTheDifference

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Enass Abo-Hamed, a scientist turned entrepreneur to run an engineering business. I co-founded H2GO Power during my PhD at Cambridge University 6 years ago and been running it since. H2GO Power is developing and deploying safe and low-cost hydrogen storage technologies. Their mission is to bring affordable reliable clean energy to millions across the globe in a green way for large social and environmental impact.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I do that every week, whilst the highlights of my career so far were never in my plans, but I always think about the next step and the step after next.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

There has always challenges; and there has always been a solution to every challenge I faced, from fundraising to being accepted and recognised in a male-dominated industry to technical challenges of scaling a complex technology. The best way to overcome every single one was through thinking about the root-cause, put my head down and try and focus on the changes I needed to make to address the challenge. Usually it works!

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Starting H2GO Power without a question, it is also the proudest achievement of my life so far. We build technology solutions that change people’s lives: provide reliable clean power round the clock and eliminate carbon-emissions.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Determination and always looking forwards never backwards

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Find a cause that excites you or a problem you want to solve. If you put all the effort in to making continuous progress towards the cause you’ve chosen and surround yourself with the people that will support and inspire you, you’ll get far.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I do. Women are misrepresented in tech across the entire spectrum from the talent pool at entry level to executive level. When it comes to founding and running tech companies, the investors who have central role to funding tech businesses that grow successfully are less than 5%. That underrepresentation can be a result of barriers like funders fund founders that are like them. It is not a secret that women have a really hard time raising big funding rounds and growing large tech companies.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Pay more attention to the behavioural differences and embrace policies that correct biases.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Women in tech representation is a leaky pipeline. We need to understand where the pipe starts to leak and fix it right there. There is a significantly higher % of women at University education in STEM, but they don’t make it to the workforce or they never progress to their fullest potential in the tech industry. That is a real problem that we need to solve by introducing measures that help women stay and progress in their tech carrier. I personally would look at attracting more women to tech early on, and help women run balanced careers when they are at the stage of having children.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

CES, CogX, International centre for AI, Energy and Climate, Exponential View.

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