One thing I have been noticing more and more is the number of women entering the field of Asset Investment Planning & Management (AIPM). In fact, many of Copperleaf’s clients are women who are taking a leading role in their organizations in planning and managing their asset investments more strategically, to minimize risk and create the highest value for their organizations.
Certainly the prevalence of women is not evident by attending an asset management conference…yet. But it occurred to me that this is a great role for women in a field where you might not expect to find many women! And I believe this is the beginning of an exciting trend and would like to highlight some of these women—and the interesting work they’re doing—to establish some role models and shine a light on this as a possible career path for young women.
In this article, we are featuring Tracy Martin, Supervisor, Capital Budgeting at PowerStream.
How did you get involved in the field of asset management?
Purely by coincidence! Throughout my career in finance, I have gravitated toward working with / supporting the operations side of the business, as this is what drives everything. When I entered the hydro industry, I found myself once again supporting the asset management team. As the financial partner, I felt that it was important to understand the issues involved in managing the company’s assets in order to understand the numbers. When the opportunity arose to become part of the team, it was an easy decision to make, and a good transition.
What attracted you to this field?
The ability to use my financial background to support and influence the decisions made in a way that was more connected to the outcome of the business. It also provided me with an avenue for continuous learning by expanding my thought process beyond the numbers.
What excites you most about this field?
The constant evolution of technology and the challenges associated with keeping up with current trends, while never losing sight of the service we provide. I have found that, with asset management, you need to constantly keep the larger picture in mind, and consider the impact down the road as much as the immediate future.
What are the most rewarding aspects of the work you do?
Working with people who are passionate about what they do and why they do it. It motivates me to always strive to do better and to look for more efficient ways to provide information that will enable better decision making. Being in the asset management field enables me to work with many different areas of the company and learn the challenges that each one of them face.
What do you think are the biggest challenges?
To me, our biggest challenge is determining the best balance between aging equipment and new technologies—with limited resources. Adding to that, working within a heavily regulated industry where customers are encouraged to limit their use of our product (i.e. energy saving programs) makes the balancing act that much more interesting.
Would you recommend asset management to other women as a career?
I would recommend asset management as a career to anyone and would advise women not to shy away from it thinking that it’s a “man’s world”. It provides the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people who bring together their individual strengths in order to support a common goal, and the learning curve never ends.
To learn more about other women making an impact in this emerging field, feel free to check out these articles featuring:
- Unnur Þorvaldsdóttir, Head of Asset Management at Landsvirkjun
- Marie-Claude Roquet, Chief of Planning and Asset Management at Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie
- Jenna Van Vliet, Supervisor of Asset Planning at Hydro Ottawa
- Donna Keck, Lead Engineer – Business Planning / LRP Support at Duke Energy