Why Representation is Essential to Hina Dave’s Work at the SFPUC

“Although Women’s History Month has been recognized and celebrated for several decades, there is still a lot of work to do,” said Hina Dave.

Dave is a Utility Specialist for retail services in the SFPUC’s Power Enterprise. As a Meter Data Management lead, she is responsible for processing PG&E and SFPUC meters’ load data and providing Settlement Quality Meter Data for CAISO reporting, customer billing, and various state & federal reporting requirement. She is also responsible for evaluating and assigning rates for all of the SFPUC’s electric customers, including general fund, enterprise, and retail customers. Dave serves as the primary person for customer facing data requests and is a part of the Hetch Hetchy load forecasting team that provides daily load forecasts to the power scheduling and purchasing team.

In addition to her role on the Power Enterprise, Dave also contributes to the SFPUC’s racial equity efforts, something that is extremely important to her. “This year our focus is to identify and recommend improvements to external engagement, so that we can diversify our workforce and address any potential gaps,” she shared. “We will work on identifying our BIPOC customers’ needs and energy equity issues in San Francisco and will try to find ways we can better support and serve our customers.”

In reflection of Women’s History Month, Dave appreciates the opportunity to celebrate women of all ages and how important it is to uplift women during their early and formative years, especially in their childhood. Dave talked about her mother Chandrika, who was born and raised in a village in India. Her mother travelled daily to a nearby town to attend university. At the same time, she helped her younger siblings complete their education. After graduating from university, her mother moved to a city and started working as an officer at a bank, all while raising Dave and her younger sister and brother. Her mother’s journey inspired her to be an independent woman in the workforce,” she shared.

One of Dave’s favorite quotes is from Michelle Obama. She explained that the quote has empowered her to invest in others. “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

For Dave, representation is critical because women represent half of the nation and the world’s population. “It is essential that women are present and represented within the utilities industry for cleaner and more innovative solutions all over the world,” she stressed. “A recent study showed that women’s participation in the energy sector is below that of the wider economy, and varies broadly across energy and utility sectors. Despite making up almost half of the global labor force, women only account for little over 30% in renewables. We need much more women representation in the field services, technician and electrician role.”

“A workplace that encourages women to join advances their workforce with the talents and abilities of half of the population. I believe women bring distinct imagination, different perspective, enhanced collaboration and unparalleled tolerance, it helps build stronger, more profitable and largely equitable workplace! Including more women in a workforce also improvs staff recruitment and retention significantly.”

“We have come a long way in understanding the true value and potential of women, however, and we have a long way to go,” she shared. “As Mahatma Gandhi used to say, ‘when you educate a boy, you educate a person, but when you educate a girl, you educate the entire generation.'”

When asked to finish the sentence, “a woman’s place is…,” Dave concluded that a woman’s place is in a safe, respectful, loving, and violence-free world, and in a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all.