Katarzyna (Kasia) Sobótka, Investment Manager in E-mobility at Claritas Investments, discusses with Mobility Portal Europe the crucial importance of companies within the sector taking women’s interests into account.
«When it comes to charging our electric vehicles, we pay more attention to the safety and ease of use of the charger cables, which can be quite heavy,» states Sobótka.
She adds, «We are different from men and have different expectations. If companies don’t address our needs, we will look for more convenient alternatives, and this will have a negative impact on businesses.»
As the Investment Manager explains, at least half of electric vehicle users are women.
Indeed, companies will need to consider the interests of female drivers to prevent losing a substantial portion of their customer base.
«Every element across the entire value chain should incorporate our needs,» acknowledges Sobótka.
Another aspect that requires attention is the low participation of women in leadership roles within companies related to electric mobility.
«I have been working in the sector for six years and often found myself as the only woman in meetings or the sole female panelist at conference sessions, if I was invited,» laments Sobótka.
To encourage more women to enter the sector, Sobótka shares her personal journey:
«At first, I knew nothing about eMobility, but I dedicated a lot of effort to learning about chargers, electric cars, regulations, and other relevant matters until I became an expert.»
However, she recognizes that achieving her current position involved overcoming uncomfortable situations.
«Sometimes, during meetings, I noticed that I understood the topic better than the men and dared to express my insights,» comments the Investment Manager.
And she adds, «The beginning wasn’t easy, but I was determined to execute my e-mobility projects in the best possible way for users and the company.»
Furthermore, Sobótka explains that sustainable mobility “is not just for engineers.”
On the contrary, it is «interdisciplinary,» which is why an increasing number of women are becoming involved in fields such as insurance, payments, design, marketing, and even construction.
«We must be bold in expressing our needs and knowledge; shyness should not hold us back,» says Sobótka.
And she acknowledges, «It always helps to have a good boss who is a leader and mentor, who believes in you, regardless of whether they are female or male.»
Polish Women Unite in Electromobility Association
All of this is aimed at integrating the female community for the development of future mobility.
«I did it because I notice that in Poland, many more women are working in emobility, and while I know some of them, there are many others that I don’t,» states the investment manager.
And she adds, «We just started, but the plan is to have a regular meetings on-line and offline, where we exchange knowledge and inspiring each other».
Who is Katarzyna Sobótka?
Within Claritas Investments, Sobótka is responsible for the execution of innovation and electromobility projects, including the establishment of a fast-charging network for electric vehicles at service stations in the largest company in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.
She has also been involved in the development of the emobility market at a global corporation in the energy industry.
Thanks to her career path, Sobótka has been honored with international awards from the International Partnership for Hydrogen Economy, the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), and the Swedish Institute.
Additionally, she received the Microsoft and DISE Women’s Energy award, as well as recognition from Forbes Woman in the ranking of the 25 Influential Women on LinkedIn.
What are the goals of Claritas Investments?
Claritas is a clean energy asset developer focusing on greenfield and early-stage development projects.
They maintain strong local teams that are deeply engaged with the local markets to identify the best opportunities they offer.
«At Claritas, we are passionate about creating investable assets for ourselves, our partners, and for the economy,» adds Sobótka.
She further explains, «I am fully responsible for e-mobility development in the CEE region. I identify the potential and lead the process for the development of charging point networks in the region, whether through equity investments or organic growth.»