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Celebrating Women’s History Month
In 1987, when Congress dedicated March as the country’s first Women’s History Month, the National Women's History Project named the event’s theme as “Generations of Courage, Compassion, and Conviction.” Today, we’re proud to introduce three women at New Fortress Energy who exemplify that same inspiring spirit as we all work together to power the world with positive energy.
“Embrace Whatever Makes You Unique” - Lily Hassan, Vice President of Permitting, Houston, USA
Before she joined New Fortress Energy last year as Vice President of Permitting, Lily had worked for nearly 16 years as an environmental permitting regulatory consultant. Throughout her career, she has valued the support of leaders and coworkers who have helped her grow both professionally and personally. Paying their contributions forward is one of the ways that Lily honors women’s history year-round.
“The best thing that I can do is to be a good team player and pass on the grace and knowledge that was shown to me,” she says. “It not only empowers me, but it also helps me improve.”
Women’s History Month, Lily strives to advance the broader goal of moving toward a more inclusive society where people are not limited by gender, but instead are measured by their talent and merit.
“Women’s History Month represents a moment to focus on the substantial achievement and progress of women,” she says. “We are only recently discovering the considerable contributions made by women in fields such as science, technology, medicine, and engineering. The celebration of these accomplishments serves as motivation of what human beings can achieve. I intend to celebrate by sharing historical accomplishments by women across my social media platform.”
One of the women she most admires is Sarah Bickford, who was born into slavery in the 1850s and eventually became the sole owner of the Virginia City Water Company.
“Sarah Bickford was the first woman and African American to own a utility in the United States,” Lily explains. “I am inspired and humbled by her accomplishments. Her story is a study on fortitude in the face of heartbreak and despair, resourcefulness when basic human liberties are denied, and the power of self-worth despite what the world believes of you.”
That’s the kind of message of unwavering persistence she shares with the next generation of women.
“Strive for excellence instead of perfection,” she advises. “Perfection is nearly impossible to achieve because so many things are interpretive, and people’s thoughts rarely align completely. Instead aim for excellence – let your decisions and actions reflect proper diligence and thoughtfulness.”
And to younger girls who are just finding their way, Lily also has some keen words of wisdom that apply to everyone.
“Embrace whatever makes you unique,” she says. “We’re all a little weird and awkward about something, so please be kind to yourself and don’t try to fit into a standard that doesn’t exist.”
“Believe in Yourself and Your Abilities” - Laura Pareja-Restrepo, Investment Associate, New York, USA
Laura has been focused on managing existing investments and originating new investment opportunities for New Fortress Energy since she joined us in 2022. It’s a natural step in her career, which has been built on the investments she has put into herself, and the investments of others who believed in her.
“I admire women I’ve worked with who have paved the way for other women to pursue their own careers and ambitions,” she says, “and who have supported me to achieve my dreams professionally and personally.”
She appreciates how Women’s History Month acknowledges and honors the contributions and achievements of women throughout history.
“It is a reminder of women’s effort towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done to achieve it,” she says. “Additionally, it fosters the sharing and learning of perspectives.”
Laura advises other women to invest in themselves as well.
“Believe in yourself and your abilities, surround yourself with supportive people, and be open to seeking out mentors and role models who can provide guidance and advice,” she says. “Be intentional about the career you want, seek out opportunities for growth and development, and don’t hold yourself back!”
“Uplift One Another and Encourage Positive Energy!” - Rebecca Kang, Manager, Human Resources Operations and Compensation, New York, USA
Since joining us at New Fortress Energy nearly four years ago, Rebecca has played a pivotal role in growing our team and quadrupling our employee count. The expanding business landscape has greatly increased the complexity of her role, as well as the opportunities for growth and learning.
“My job requires wearing multiple hats and mastering a multitude of HR skills,” she explains. “I am involved in a lot of day-to-day employee experiences such as onboarding, compliance, benefits and compensation, and running analytics on our people data - all of which can significantly impact the company and employees.”
She is clearly continuing the legacy of hard-working women that we celebrate in Women’s History Month.
“It has taken the hard work of generations of women for us to get to where we are today,” Rebecca reflects. “We have more opportunities and freedoms because of their bravery and resilience. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate women’s strengths and their daily contributions to history, society, and culture worldwide.”
Although she deeply admires many other women, she does not aim to emulate any of them.
“I don’t believe you should strive to be someone else,” she says. “Instead, I believe in taking leadership of your own life. I always try to become a better version of myself. I know myself the best out of everyone else in the world. I know my strengths and weaknesses, I set my own goals, and I keep track of my accomplishments.”
She counsels other women to take charge of their own paths as well, and to not let timing or fear slow them down.
“Start before you think you’re ready,” she says. “Everything is an experience, whether it be good or bad, and failure is a part of life. All good things take time. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and set healthy boundaries. Have confidence in yourself, and work for a company you believe in and can proudly represent.”
Being in the right environment and the right frame of mind are keys to Rebecca’s success.
“I try to keep a positive attitude and outlook,” she says. “It’s important for me to practice self-care and surround myself with dedicated and driven people. Uplift one another and encourage positive energy!”