Accra, Ghana//-Lamé Verre, who was born and raised in the ancient kingdom of Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria, is one of the African women raising the bar in the global energy space.
She has lived, studied, and worked in Nigeria, Italy, the UK, and the US whilst travelling extensively across multiple territories to contribute her quota to the global energy industry, which is critical to global socio-economic development.
Verre is currently the Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Transition at the UK-based Alaric &Associates, an independent energy consulting firm focused on upstream, midstream and renewable energy sectors.
She supports her clients as they explore ways to leverage renewable sources of energy. Thus, she focuses her work around energy transition and low carbon energy solutions requirements for large, medium and small businesses across the globe.
She told African Eye Report in an interview: “We support our clients in achieving their energy transition objectives, focusing on low-carbon technologies like – battery storage, fuel cells, and hydrogen”.
She also Co-founded ScanTech International, a service company focused on providing low carbon pipeline construction and rehabilitation solutions to the energy industry.
So clearly, her over 20 years of experience in the energy sector through Upstream, Midstream and Oil Field Services is bearing fruits in the industry.
“Primarily, I love the global nature of the industry, the multidisciplinary interactions, and the fact that it is a relationship business which gives one access to a wide range of collaborations and stakeholders”, Verre said.
She is also passionate about the growing focus on the social aspect in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors for measuring sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business”.
She continued that the ESG is driving the shift in business models, with organisations pledging to serve all stakeholders – shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the environment.
It is against this backdrop that the possibilities of what is termed Energy 2.0 keep her excited and motivated. “I cannot wait to see where the energy pivot lands”. Verre, who is also the Co-Chair of Lean IN Energy Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa, stated.
Drivers of success
In her view, success is a journey, and the factors that have driven her on her journey so far have been – hard work, perseverance and an insatiable appetite for continuous learning and mastering the rules of the game.
“Most of my career has been about planning, identifying and mitigating risks inherent in energy projects. I have learnt to apply these same principles in my career and personal life. I would like to believe that it has served me well thus far. So, working in the industry has been a significant source of inspiration”.
Using the opportunity to advise young girls and women who want to excel in the energy industry, she says – know your trade; understand the rules of the game; be reliable and dependable; be good at what you do; get a mentor, sponsor; and most importantly pay it forward.
Emphasising the benefits of mentorship and sponsorship, she noted: “Mentors become part of your “Personal board of directors’ as I like to call it, and they guide and walk alongside you as you progress through your career”.
On the other hand, “sponsors are those who speak for you when you are not in the room, and they throw your name in the hat when opportunities arise for promotions, stretch assignments or enhanced visibility. I think you need both to succeed”.
The seasoned energy expert was quick to add: “The Energy industry is at an inflection point which means there will be countless opportunities emerging. I encourage everyone with the capacity to participate in the change and find ways to create value and opportunities from the challenges”.
She stands for….
Lamé Verre, who is passionate about the energy industry, people, and the continent of Africa. She intimated that her goal as a leader in business is to help organisations achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal SDG5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”; and SDG7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”
She stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. She believes in working with others to eliminate inequity of any kind but particularly in industries where women are underrepresented, such as the energy industry.
To achieve this, organisations must focus on inclusion and belonging. When an organisation has an inclusive culture, it will attract and retain talent and everyone thrives.
In the last couple of years, she has had the privilege and honour of participating in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) panels in Paris, London and Cape Town, all in France, UK and South Africa, respectively, with fantastic fellow panelists.
The key takeaways from the conversations, according to her, are that for the energy industry to achieve the shift it needs; the following are critical:
- DE&I in the Energy industry needs to re-prioritised as urgent;
- DE&I needs to be embedded in the strategy and culture of organisations the same way organisations did with Health, Safety & Environment; and
- DE&I discussions must include male colleagues and allies who currently represent most decision-makers in the industry.
“I am dedicated to supporting, showcasing and promoting the female talents in these sectors”.
Two of her favourite quotes that inspired her journey to success are: (i) the African proverb – “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”; and (ii) “Behind every woman is a circle of women”, which is the motto of LeanIn.Org.
Qualification and experience
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Lamé Verre started her career with ENI E&P as a Petroleum Economist working in Italy and Nigeria, before relocating to the UK where she held several instrumental positions for companies such as Sterling Energy Plc, E.ON E&P, Baker Hughes and most recently Halliburton, running the Finance Treasury function for Europe, Eurasia & Sub-Sharan Africa.
She currently sits on the board of trustees for Uganda Conservation Foundation, a charity set up to support wildlife populations. She is the co-chair of Lean-in Energy, Europe & Sub-Sharan Africa. She also serves as a governor for Nescot (North East Surrey College of Technology), a UK Further Education College.
Verre has an MBA from Imperial College Business School; a post-graduate certificate in Corporate Finance from the London Business School; a Masters in Energy, Environmental Management and Economics from the Eni corporate University; and a B.Sc. in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin, Nigeria. She recently completed the Oxford Saïd Business School Women in Leadership Executive Program.
Lamé Verre loves travelling, exploring new cultures, including local cuisines, research and sharing knowledge. She also enjoys hosting friends and family at home.
Lamé Verre is married to her greatest supporter, and together they have three lovely boys, and they live in London, UK.
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report