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Feb 28, 2022

Growing up in 1980s Britain, it's no surprise Sarah Fairhurst’s biggest role model was Margaret Thatcher. “I was at school when she was in power and she made me realise women could do anything,” says Sarah, a WOB member with significant expertise in the energy sector, including advising governments and industry on commercialization and issues relating to the power and energy sector.

Like Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Sarah grew up in a modest, hardworking family in a small English town before heading down the Oxbridge route and graduating from Cambridge with an MA in Natural Science. “We weren’t posh,” she tells Claire in this podcast.

Now based in Hong Kong, where she lives on a boat, Sarah pivoted to a portfolio career on governance and advisory boards in 2019 after more than 30 years working in the Australian and Asian power industries.

She now mentors startups, helping small companies overcome obstacles to growth, as well as working with larger companies and multinationals through strategic change, as they navigate the energy transition, invest in power generation, M&A, or enter Asian markets in any industry.

In this podcast, Sarah talks to Claire about living and working as an expat in Hong Kong post the 2020 crackdown imposed by Beijing, the differences between working on Asian and Australian boards, how she has navigated workplace bias in the energy sector and how she dealt with ‘imposter syndrome’. “It can be very easy to underestimate your abilities.”

A testament to seizing opportunities with both hands, and moving where life takes you, Sarah’s biggest piece of advice is “Just say yes - figure it out later.”

Find out more about what sparks Sarah Fairhurst's interests in this podcast.

Sarah Fairhurst
Claire Braund (host)

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