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What's it like being a female leader of a startup in the male-dominated energy sector? What is her best business advice? Find out from Cynthia Adams, CEO and co-founder of Pearl Certification, in Canary Media's latest edition of Charging Up — chronicling gender diversity in the climatetech sector!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

As a leader of a company and as an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to embody a mindset of success, envisioning where you want to be before you’ve actually arrived. It’s not exactly the ​“fake it till you make it” cliché we often hear, but it’s similar; it propels you forward. This mindset can create space and vision for others in the company to aspire to as well.

What is a barrier you faced, and how did you overcome it?

Being a woman in this field can be a barrier. It’s tough for anyone to raise seed or series funding, but the success rate for women is even lower. This is particularly true in the energy sector. As a woman, you might often find yourself the only one in a boardroom, and the dynamics of conversations and how people connect can differ based on gender. While I don’t want to focus solely on gender, being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field does mean having to work harder. It’s about balancing leadership in a way that feels authentic to you without being perceived as threatening, which can sometimes be the case for strong women.

Another barrier is the current climate of science disparagement in our society and media. Today, a tweet from an influencer can hold as much weight as data from a peer-reviewed journal, which is absurd. We shouldn’t have to struggle so much to draw attention to issues that are crucial for our long-term well-being. While I wouldn’t call this a personal hurdle, in the context of Pearl’s business and our objectives, the notion that all data is equal — that curated, reliable data isn’t valued more — is both alarming and frustrating.

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Pearl Certification is transforming the housing market. We’re making a visible difference nationwide for homeowners and the businesses that serve them.