Seeing CWEEL: Kayla deCarr

In Her Own Words

Tell us about your career journey.
I started working in the energy space shortly after graduating college as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Connecticut. I worked on a U.S. D.O.E. grant funded program focused on reducing residential energy consumption. After focusing on community organizing and education, I moved into a more technical role as a Home Energy Advisor for a home performance contractor based in Boston. Wanting to strengthen my program management skills and energy industry knowledge, I went to graduate school at Duke University where I earned a Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M) degree. I held several roles at Franklin Energy implementing utility programs in Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming, before joining CBRE on their Amazon account, managing energy procurement, reporting, and electric vehicle infrastructure projects. I am currently the Sustainability Manager for Horizon Realty Advisors, a multifamily property owner and management company with properties located across the U.S..

What is the best advice you received as a woman in energy?
I once had a skip manager who told me, "You are going to find more and more often that you are the smartest person in a room. No one benefits from that if you don't use your voice." Being younger at the time, I always felt like I had to defer to my more tenured colleagues in meetings. It was so helpful to have someone tell me that every time I'm in a room, I have value to contribute. Throughout my career I have often remembered these words to make sure I use my voice, even if it is tough.

Do you have any professional role models?
Kerry O'Neill was one of my first role models in the energy industry. She taught me that you can wear bright colors and prioritize your family, and still be smart, hardworking, professional, and make an impact.

Any other thoughts on the CWEEL community you would like to share?
Having spent much of my career in the utility space, it can feel like a small world. I have really enjoyed learning about women holding different roles at different organizations across the country and seeing how they are all making an impact in the energy industry.