Katie Sloan has a lot on her plate at work. As Director of eMobility® at Southern California Edison, she leads a team that’s responsible for accelerating electric transportation in Southern California. Their goal is ambitious: by 2030, they’re aiming to have 7 million electric vehicles on the road in California – up from 500,000 today. As Sloan puts it, “We aren’t taking on this challenge because it is easy; we are doing it because it is necessary for clean air for our communities and to mitigate climate change.”
Though she’s no doubt juggling a lot throughout each work day, Sloan continues to feel energized and motivated at work because she’s surrounded by supportive and passionate colleagues. “I love being part of something new, with all of the challenges that come along with it, and most of all I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such dynamic and driven people,” she says.
Sloan recently shared with Fairygodboss what she’s currently prioritizing, how her manager has supported her as she’s built her team, and her No. 1 tip for job seekers.
Tell us a bit about your job. What are your priorities at work?
I lead a team responsible for accelerating electric transportation in Southern California. We work with people across the company to design and implement customer programs that help lower the cost and barriers to adopting electric vehicles (EV). We have over $1 billion of budgeted or planned infrastructure investments in this space in addition to programs and partnerships for electric vehicle rebates and market, education and outreach.
As a company, we believe the state of California needs to have 7 million EVs on the road by 2030, up from only 500,000 today. This will take an enormous cross-industry effort, but we are up to the challenge. We aren’t taking on this challenge because it is easy; we are doing it because it is necessary for clean air for our communities and to mitigate climate change. As one of our customers recently said, “we are changing the world.”
We are now in the exciting time of moving from pilot to scale. We are on the cutting edge of the industry in this space, which provides the opportunity to act a little like a start-up within a large organization. Where previously we were installing 500 charging ports per year, in short order we will need to be installing thousands of ports per year. Our priorities are to create simple streamlined processes, programs, and technologies to make EV adoption easy for our customers, develop partnerships across industries to advance electrification, and share our lessons learned being on the cutting edge with other utilities and stakeholder groups so they can learn from the experiences we’ve had.
What were you doing previously/what has your career path looked like?
Previously, I’ve held roles of increasing responsibility at SCE & Edison International focusing on clean energy policy, strategy, and analysis. At SCE & Edison International, I’ve had the opportunity to take on new roles in different functional areas and have appreciated the support of leadership to take on these new challenges. I also worked at First Solar, a large solar panel manufacturer, developing global public policy.
How did your own manager support you while you were building your team?
My manager and other leaders at the company have been very supportive throughout this process. Vehicle electrification is a core element of our company’s clean power and electrification strategy. With that, the most senior leaders at the company want our team to succeed and provide support with time, direction, and resources. My direct manager has been supportive by being a strategic thought partner throughout the process and helping to make sure the team has the resources we need to be successful.
While building this team, what did you learn that surprised you most?
What surprised me most while building this team is how eager people have been to both join the team and support the effort regardless of whether they are on the direct team or not. People are passionate about vehicle electrification because they see it making a tangible difference in their lives and their communities. In Southern California we have the worst air quality in the country and vehicle electrification can help to change that.
What do you love most about your job?
I am so grateful to be in this role. I have never seen such an alignment between State environmental, customer, and our corporate goals as there is with transportation electrification. The passion in our employees and the industry will allow us to take on these ambitious goals and to succeed.
I love being part of something new, with all of the challenges that come along with it, and most of all I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such dynamic and driven people.
What’s your no. 1 tip for job seekers?
Do your research – I am always impressed by candidates who have a good understanding of what our company does and how it aligns with their personal and professional goals.
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