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Fueling the Future: A Woman’s Rise in the World of Biogas

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The first time I cooked on a HomeBiogas system it was to prepare lunch for my future boss’s children. I never could have imagined that the babysitting job that I took on a whim would ultimately be the final stepping stone to my dream job.

From Babysitting to Biogas

It all started when my neighbor connected me with Orit and Oshik, who needed a babysitter for their children. I took the job and would often end a shift by sitting for a cup of coffee with Orit and Oshik, which they prepared on their HomeBiogas stovetop.  During that time I learned more about Oshik, CEO of HomeBiogas, and became increasingly drawn toward his company, which turns waste into clean energy.  

Eventually, I applied for a position at HomeBiogas, and Oshik lost his family babysitter but he gained a dedicated and enthusiastic employee.  It’s funny to think that it was in accepting this traditionally female job of babysitting that led me to a job where I’m often the only woman on site. 

Living My Dream

As Head of Global Customer Success at HomeBiogas, I travel the world, implementing HomeBiogas systems in all kinds of communities.  It’s not the glamorous lifestyle that one imagines when they hear, ‘I travel a lot for work,’ but for me, it’s pretty close to perfect.  

I caught the travel bug many years ago when I went on a 7 month backpacking trip across South America. It was the first time I had traveled on my own and it was the first time I felt truly fulfilled in life.  Naturally, I wanted to continue on like this.  I came back home and earned more money for more travels.  I went off to India for three months and instead of starting my degree right after that trip as I’d intended, I made my way onto Australia where I worked and traveled for another two years.  

Eventually, I completed my degree in Special Education and Human Resources and rather than head back out for more travels, I found a job back home that still fulfilled my urge for international connections. I became the Program Coordinator of the Agrostudies Program at Ruppin College, and had the opportunity to work with students from across the globe, as they studied and gained hands-on experience in agricultural and advanced theoretical learning.

Anyone Can Work with Biogas

Today, my job at HomeBiogas entails spending a lot of time in the field across the globe. It’s a stereotypically men’s job, lifting heavy machinery, working in rural areas and getting my hands a little dirty. Our work also falls in the technology space, a field dominated by men, even in the more progressive European countries and the United States.

Dana and Yosef leading the SKG team in India

Refreshingly though, when I do find myself as the only woman in the metaphorical room (we work outside after all), it’s usually my foreignness that sets me apart. The men I meet in the fields of India, Rwanda and El Salvador don’t seem focused on my being a woman.  They care whether or not I can get the job done…and I can!

My Feminine Eye

Oftentimes, it’s in the field that I find my being a woman is actually most appreciated. I travel with Yosef, the leading field technician for HomeBiogas. Together, we visit rural communities where Yosef trains the local technical teams on the installation and use of the HomeBiogas system. While he focuses on the technical aspects, I consider how we will guide the customers in using the system.

While Yosef is engaged in the moment, utilizing all his expertise to train others—a job that seems to me the hardest—he appreciates my ability to look at the larger picture and provide insights on how all the dots connect, including the technical aspects and the customer experience. In the spirit of Women’s Day, I don’t want to perpetuate stereotypes and say that this ability for systemic vision is unique to women. That being said, for decades, women were often only permitted into traditionally male spaces by masking our emotions and negative traits. It is a joy to be praised for something that comes so naturally to me as a woman. I think ahead, anticipate problems, and feel immense joy when we succeed

The Other Women

While my day-to-day work is not always with women, when I do encounter them, it is incredible.  Even on the days that I’m only working with the men on the ground, I know that I am assisting men who are doing something that will ultimately empower women. For example, in 2023, a UNDP project introduced HomeBiogas technology to rural farmers in the Ngoma and Rwamagana district, in the eastern province of Rwanda.  This project brought 500 farming families in Rwanda clean cooking energy. This minimized the need to collect wood for cooking fuel, a task that usually falls on the local women and that ultimately harms them because of health risks associated with indoor air pollution from wood cooking.  

Lighting the first flame of the biogas system in Rwanda

As if these results weren’t enough to keep me working hard, the HomeBiogas customer list is full of inspiring ladies building the future that they want to see. From Lana Wedmore’s Luna Lodge in Costa Rica to Carenna and Charne from ‘Off-Grid Strength’ and their amazing initiative  ‘Enough Garden’ in South Africa, the women of HomeBiogas embody physical and mental strength.  To top that off, I also have the pleasure of working with Ileana, an electrical engineer in El Salvador who’s implementation of HomeBiogas Bio-toilets makes for safer homes and schools for hundreds of girls.  

My Wish on Women’s Day

On this Women’s Day I reflect on my work at a HomeBiogas and the incredible women and men I meet through it. My greatest wish for women worldwide, is that we heirbeen able to. Whether it be working as a babysitter or working in the field with heavy machinery, my hope is that we lead the happy, healthy and fulfilling lives that we deserve.

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