International Women’s Day – Women in hydrogen: Monica Saraiva Panik

This interview is part of H2 View’s series celebrating women in hydrogen as part of International Women’s Day. The below interview is with Monica Saraiva Panik, Director of Institutional Relations at the Brazilian Hydrogen Association.

Monica, thanks for giving H2 View your time. We’re celebrating the women working in hydrogen this International Women’s Day. So, what first sparked your interest in hydrogen and working in this industry?

Monica Saraiva Panik (MSP): When I moved to Germany from Brazil in 1997, first I had to learn the language. Even speaking six different languages, I realised that if you don’t speak the country’s language, you won’t succeed to communicate with people, understand their culture and find the job you want.

So for me, it was back to school at 38 years old. It seemed I was taking a step back, but it was necessary to take a step forward. Meanwhile, at that time, my husband was working with the development of fuel cell technologies at Daimler and he heard that the Global Environment Facilities (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a fuel cell bus programme in five countries: Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, India and China.

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