Meet our people: Maria Farrugia

Meet our people: Maria Farrugia

By: Shell Energy

22 Jun 2022

Maria Farrugia, Shell Energy’s Director of Technology, Architecture and Innovation, has a formidable responsibility at Shell Energy – transforming how we take care of our customers. We asked her about her plans for the business, her career path to get here, and her advice for young people starting their career journey.

A business will always find it challenging to meet the needs of its customers without having the right technology in place. Having the right systems and processes in place helps make interactions quick and seamless as possible our customers, and as technology improves there’s always more to be done. 

With far-reaching goals to transform energy for our customers and the planet, we need more than an authority on what technology is possible now - we also need someone who’s driven to discover what things will look like in the future. 

Thankfully we have people like Maria, who joined us last year after almost two decades in the telecommunications industry. Maria’s job is to connect IT systems and tools together to form a solution that puts our customers first.

What's the big picture for you and your team?

Technology plays a key role in how Shell Energy and our customers will move together towards a better energy future. We’re transforming our technology stack in order to serve our customers better, quicker and more efficiently. 

These solutions will allow customers to buy cleaner energy propositions, both in their homes and, in the case of EV, on-the-go. This will enable us to be a market leader in energy transformation as we work towards our net-zero goals.

What was it like starting a career in technology and innovation?

When I first started, 3G was being developed and I found it fascinating. I joined research and development where I had the freedom to work on innovative technologies that were emerging.

I knew I loved my role, but I wanted to deliver more and make a bigger difference by leading a team. My first management role was in 2016, for the Internet of Things, and since then my focus has always been on looking for new ways for technology to solve problems. 

What's your experience as a woman working in technology and innovation?

I believe unconscious bias still exists in some businesses, though great strides are being made. Some people think if you’re a woman then your career may not come first, which isn’t a fair assessment. At some of my previous organisations, I got used to being the only woman in a meeting. 

We need more women in technology, and more opportunities for women to thrive in that field. I wouldn’t want to have progressed just because of my gender – it’s about everybody having a fair opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. 

What's your advice to people seeking a career in tech?

Don’t be afraid to fail. You’re not always going to be successful the first time you do something. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and can help you grow. Having an inspirational manager has always been pivotal for me, so seek out people who can coach you in how to be the best version of you.

What are you looking forward to most this year in your role?

I’m looking ahead to what our next technology transformation will look like. I’m focused on understanding what technologies can help us now and in the future to deliver with greater efficiency. I can’t wait to see these efforts come to life and see how they help us provide the best possible experience for every customer.

Read more about how Shell Energy is reaching net-zero.