We at SunStreet are lucky enough to have many exceptionally educated, knowledgeable and talented women that make up the various departments and leaders across the country in all of our offices.
To honor this Women’s History Month, we sat down with Joanna Iglesias, General Counsel - also a fierce female at the helm, for a short interview.
Reflecting on her leadership journey and other leaders who have made an impact on her life, Joanna gives some powerful answers to these five intriguing questions.
What are the most compelling attributes you think a great leader needs?
Leaders, through supportive management, make a huge impact on employee wellbeing in the workplace. When it comes to her leadership style, Joanna is all about building relationships and putting people first. From that basis, there are three attributes that she values the most.
“The ability to listen, the ability to inspire people, and the ability to communicate clearly and decisively.”
Any advice would you like to share with women interested in having a career in solar?
Joanna believes that the willingness to learn is what it takes to progress your career and eventually succeed. She shares two key pieces of advice for dynamic women who are looking to shape the future of the American energy industry.
“One is educating yourself. Solar is still a relatively new industry so knowledge and expertise are hard to come by. Learn as much as you can so that you have an advantage when interviewing for the job or asking for the promotion.
Another is raising your hand! Be the first one to volunteer for the tough assignment, the work no one else wants to do, if it’s the kind of work you can learn from. Company leadership recognizes those who are willing to go above and beyond.”
What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?
Following that, Joanna’s top advice for being a woman in a prominent role is to stand your ground. Many of us working professionals - women or men, strive for perfection. However, being driven to produce flawless work sometimes can be counterproductive. Joanna advises the next generation of female leaders to uncompromisingly be themselves, and translate that feeling of “not being perfect” into “not fear of failure”.
“Fail forward! Women leaders, in particular, tend to be perfectionists. You will fail at times – everyone does – but you learn more from failure than from success. As a leader, you need to let your employees know they won’t be judged for failing, but for how they learn from failure and move forward.”
How do you SunStreet revolve this year?
Since the company’s founding in 2013, SunStreet has completed 36,000 installations in over 350 communities. Our diverse team of industry professionals has expanded and grown tremendously. We ask Joanna where she sees SunStreet by the end of 2020.
“I think this is the year SunStreet will make real inroads with other homebuilders, particularly in California. I think we will truly begin to be known as “The Builder’s Solar Company.”
Are there any other fellow female leaders that inspire you and why?
“I admire Sheryl Sandberg because, in addition to being incredibly successful in such a male-dominated industry, she gives back by helping other women succeed, and her advice to younger women is realistic and not just the typical ‘you can have it all’ platitudes.
And Michelle Obama is inspirational in her own right – mother, lawyer, advocate – and she speaks her mind.”
March is as much about celebrating women who’ve made great strides for American women throughout history as it is about inspiring the next generation to power up and fuel their passion. Above are Joanna’s words of wisdom that we agree with whole-heartedly.