Chloe Munro: A woman of influence in the world of energy

By ANNIE WANG 

As an outstanding leader in Australia’s energy industry, Monash researcher Chloe Munro has helped implement several influential energy policies and regulations.

One of this year’s Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence, Ms Munro has established her expertise in an area typically dominated by men.

Chloe Munro

The awards are aimed at recognising women with great achievements across various industries, and to encourage women to stand for equality and drive innovation in the workplace and society.  

Ms Munro is the independent Chair of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s expert advisory panel,  and a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, working across faculties and research areas to advance energy policy research, natural resources policy and to link research to the needs of industry and government.

“I can’t think of anything which will have a more profound influence than this (working in the energy industry) to our future,” Ms Munro said.  

Self-knowledge and a strong purpose are important criteria for leadership, along with understanding what motivates other people.

“The first criteria is to have a strong sense of purpose, because the leader is leading towards an outcome and then inspires others to apply their efforts towards the goal,” she said. High emotional intelligence and optimism are also important qualities.

“Choosing a positive conversation inside your own head – and helping other people to have a positive conversation – is the secret of personal resilience, another crucial feature of being a good leader,” Ms Munro said.

Working in a male-dominated sector can pose a number of challenges for women.

“It is important for women be assertive and aggressive to draw attention … and they have to push themselves forward,” Ms Munro said.

She also encourages women to join in the conversation to let their voice be heard.

Her advice is, in order to do that, women have to learn to “interrupt” the conversation.

“Demonstrating themselves as capable and confident to make a good first impression is also significant in the male-dominated working environment,” Ms Munro said.

In her work at Monash University, Ms Munro aims to make a bigger contribution to Australia’s energy system with students, professors and other researchers working as a team.

“The capability of Monash is wonderful,” she said.

“Mentoring and supporting younger people in their career development is the other side of women’s influence. Helping individual progress, especially the younger generation, is important,” she said.

Ms Munro was made an Officer of the Order of Australia this year for her contribution to renewable energy and the performing arts.

This year’s Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards is aimed at recognising women with great achievements across various industries, and to encourage women to stand for equality and drive innovation in the workplace and society.  

Since the last time this award was held, entries increased significantly from 370 in 2016 to 850 in 2018.