Gill Baker, Director of Field Operations and Smart Metering, E.ON
What’s your new job?
I lead our Field Operations at E.ON for two years now and recently been made Director of Field Operations and Smart Metering where I make sure all of our 7 million customers receive accurate bills and have access to a new self-reading Smart meter. In that role, I’m responsible for over 2,000 engineers and a broad office team to support them and run a P&L with over £70m operating costs. Now I also lead our Smart Meter programme – the biggest infrastructure change the UK energy sector has seen. We’re replacing 8 million old analogue meters with smart meters by 2020. It’s a £1.2bn technological transformation programme affecting all of our UK gas and electricity customers. It involves negotiating and managing over £200m worth of third party contracts as well as keeping customers satisfied, meeting the highest safety standards for customers and colleagues whilst ensuring operational efficiency and costs to spend our customers money wisely.
What do you think was key to getting this job?
Being able to build credibility quickly and engage with people throughout the organisation. Also Top Flight helped me be more structured in how I plan and in my approach which has made a huge difference.
What are the benefits for an organisation to putting a woman on Top Flight?
I’m clearer and more open about my career aspirations and how I’m planning to achieve them – doing my role really well and supporting my people always comes first but I now know I can do both. Also my organisation will see that I think more broadly about my role and how I can add value not just to the residential business but also more widely across E.ON.
How did Top Flight help you personally?
As I’ve touched on but really helping me to recognise my potential and think more broadly to aid my team to deliver and my organisation. Also, the range of speakers made me ask myself if I was pushing myself hard enough. Could I do more and take more risks?
What’s your top tip for women developing their careers?
Be comfortable in your own skin and don’t be afraid to have an opinion. Nine times out of ten, you’ll have an idea in a meeting but won’t say anything. Then five minutes later someone will say it and you’d wish you’d spoken up. Don’t be afraid of failing, just try and see what happens.