TECH
17/01/2019 4:47 PM AEDT | Updated 17/01/2019 5:06 PM AEDT

‘It’s A Privilege’: Power Ledger Co-Founder On Being A Role Model For Women In Tech

Jemma Green knows that she is just "as effective and powerful as any man" and that her "ideas are just as worthy of being seen".

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While her company is disrupting the energy market, Green is ready to shake things up in the male-dominated blockchain industry.

There's no denying that Jemma Green is an impressive woman.

Not only is she the co-founder of Power Ledger, an Australian startup that's disrupting the traditional energy market (and grabbing attention from the likes of billionaire businessman Richard Branson), she's also a working mum of two and a pioneer for women in the tech industry.

(For more on what Power Ledger is, how it's using blockchain technology to democratise power and why, check out our previous post here.)

A former investment banker who has also served as Deputy Lord Mayor of Perth, Green is also a regular Forbes contributor and founder of the Global Blockchain Business Council.

And while her company may be disrupting the utilities market, Green told HuffPost Australia she's hoping to shake things up in the male-dominated blockchain industry by championing other women to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fields.

"Women don't see themselves in tech because they can't see others in tech. There's a lack of role models," she said.

"So I think that it's great that I'm given this opportunity to do that and I hope to make the most of it ... I hope that it will be easier for the next women that come along that want to work in this space and I hope that I set a good example."

Green explained how she often feels as though she has an "extra large target" on her back but that she quickly realised "that change doesn't happen by sitting back and complaining behind closed doors."

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Power Ledger recently won a global technology competition run by Richard Branson. Green's son, Castiel, travelled with his mum to Necker Island for the competition.

"I know I'm as effective and powerful as any man and my ideas are just as worthy of being seen," she said. "I acknowledged the problem exists while actively reminding myself and others that we're in the room because we belong there ... if the women leading innovation in the blockchain space are proof of anything, it's that the gender gap can be closed. We just have to make a stand for it."

Scrolling through Green's social media channels, it's hard to find a photograph where she isn't with 6-month-old son Castiel or Amélie, her 3-year-old daughter. Whether it's onsite at Power Ledger's latest project in Thailand, presenting at an event or just at her Perth office, her little ones are always close by.

"I want Amélie to grow up knowing she can do whatever she sets her mind to," Green said.

"I feel an enormous responsibility to my daughter so that she can see whatever she wants in life is possible and I think we have been lacking role models.

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"If the women leading innovation in the blockchain space are proof of anything, it's that the gender gap can be closed. We just have to make a stand for it."

"I want her to know that success doesn't have to come at the sacrifice of something else and she has the right to dream big. She'll sometimes ask me, 'Mummy, are you happy?' and while it's coming from such an innocent place, it certainly keeps everything in perspective."

Amélie is a well-traveled toddler, having been on 25 business trips with her mum before turning 2.

"Most of them were over east, Sydney or Melbourne, but I also did several business trips to New Zealand and also to America and Switzerland for Davos," Green said.

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"I think it would be great if workplaces could be more accommodating at having spaces where children could come in and be in offices."

"Kids travel quite readily and on those big trips, my husband has come with me so he's helped with the kids when I've had work things to do. You really need a lot of support to make this kind of thing work but you could imagine though, with larger employers having onsite childcare that could make things a lot easier for working mums."

Green is definitely in a fortunate position compared to other working mums -- and she's the first to acknowledge that.

"My work day looks very different to the average person because I do a lot of work in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed," she said. "And I do have my six-month-old son with me in the office and I've got a nanny that helps me as well with my two kids."

Nevertheless, she hopes that women will be afforded greater support from their workplaces while balancing the responsibilities that come with being working mums.

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Green's space-obsessed daughter, Amélie, was lucky enough to meet Beth Moses, a former aerospace engineer at NASA.

"I think it would be great if workplaces could be more accommodating at having spaces where children could come in and be in offices," she said. "It's not an easy thing to figure out how to do it properly, I don't know what the solution is but I do know that even though it's a loosely ordered chaos that I live in right now, somehow it works."

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