This feature is part of a series highlighting some of the most prominent Jordanian businesswomen who managed to climb to the top of the corporate ladder in their respective fields in the Kingdom.
Founder and CEO of PanMed Energy
Shermine Dajani is the founder and CEO of PanMed Energy, a consultancy that aims to promote and develop renewable energy in Jordan and the wider region. Amongst other projects, PanMed is currently helping the government of Dubai and Mozambique develop a solar energy program. Dajani is also a big advocate for women’s education and employment rights, which she sees as vital for securing Jordan’s political, social, and economic future.
Energy and education are two great passions in your life. Why is this?
Energy and education are the pillars of any country. Our future and prosperity depends upon energy. I have been providing consultancy services to international groups operating in the energy sector seeking to access the Middle East market over the years, while also sitting on the board of EDAMA, a Jordanian association with activities focusing on energy, environment, and water. My involvement in the renewable energy sector has led me to be one of the founders of the Green Growth Platform, a program initiated and supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment, which is committed to driving the growth of green energy in the region.
Always in the renewable energy sector, I founded PanMed Energy, a Jordanian company that works to increase the availability and use of green energy at the national, regional, and local level. PanMed joined MEDGRID, a France-based conglomerate made up of 21 multinationals firms specialized in the transmission and distribution of electricity across the Mediterranean.
My interests also extend to the improvement of women’s status and employment throughout the region. Although education reforms to meet the market demands are challenging, new opportunities and cheap and accessible technologies are at our fingertips. I am a strong advocate of e-education and encourage everyone to utilize online courses. We need to build the skills of our youth to build a brighter and better future. As a cofounder of the Middle East Career Women’s Forum, I have been supporting several women’s organizations and forums, providing platforms where women can meet to exchange ideas, learn and promote a better leadership for a changing world.
What are the challenges that you had to face as a woman in your career?
I faced many challenges in my career, but never allowed anything or anyone to stand in the way of my goals. I never took no for an answer and always found a way to overcome obstacles. When I am not challenged, I challenge myself. I always found it extremely important to maintain an appropriate corporate dress code and behavior and to work hard. My late mother, Salwa Dajani, was an inspiration and a role model to me and I always aspired to be like her.
What do you think about Jordan’s women status? Is there an on-going change in the population’s mentality on this issue?
Although women’s status in Jordan has improved over the years, we still have major issues to tackle, like violence against women, gender inequality, and promotion of our rights. Everyone agrees that violence against women and honor killings must be eradicated, but stronger action is required to turn these plans into reality. We must find solutions which are consistent with existing cultural values, promoting opportunities for women in economic life and allowing them to contribute to Jordan’s political, economic, and social development.
Articles in the series of Jordan’s Top Businesswomen: