Mpowered. By Women for Women: Hon Dr. Miriam Dalli

Mpowered. By Women for Women: Hon Dr. Miriam Dalli

Meet Dr Miriam Dalli – Minister for Energy, Enterprise, and Sustainable Development with a long and successful career that has a lot of firsts!

Dr Miriam Dalli needs very little introduction. Holding the current position as Minister for Energy, Enterprise, and Sustainable Development, politics was not Miriam Dalli’s first love. Her career started in Journalism, working for over 15 years in Communications and Media. Between 2005 and 2009, Miriam served as a News Editor at ONE TV and Radio in which she was the first female Maltese TV News Editor. Keep scrolling to listen to the podcast below.

In 2014, Miriam became the first female Labour MEP to be elected directly to the EU Parliament, in which she remained as a member from 2014 to 2020, holding several critical roles related to key regulations and legislations. In October 2020, Miriam Dalli was sworn in the Parliament of Malta and the appointed as a Minister.

‘I was always interested in journalism, investigative journalism, and the media but I never saw myself becoming a politician. At University, I was amazed by the media environment since it was the time in which Malta started having a more liberalised market when it comes to media. I started working with, what was called at the time, Super One Radio. Reading a Communications degree, gave me a kick – the fact that you’re researching and investigating. I also learnt the importance of deadlines which helped me later on in life, especially to realise that sometimes you need to do things and get them delivered on time, without worrying on perfection. I also learnt to manage my time more efficiently.’


Miriam’s career in politics started with going into a youth party organisation. ‘You didn’t see a lot of girls going into a youth party organisation, so I was made the Equality Officer of the Labour Youth Forum and my role was to attract more women. I also became the first girl secretary of this same youth forum. Further along the line, I was contacted to contest for the EU parliament elections. Joseph Muscat, then Prime Minister of Malta, contacted me one week after Jack was born. I went into the meeting adamant that I was going to say no but I ended up liking the role and accepted it there and then. The elections were held when Jack was only ten months old. I was a new mother, and I had a career which I needed to represent my country.’

Miriam admitted that juggling a career and a family is not always easy and rosy. She had to travel back and forth between Malta and Brussels and went to stages of relocating to Brussels and coming down to Malta only on weekends.

Being a woman, Miriam also had to give in her 150% at her job. ‘I found that I had to work harder to prove that I can be as good as my male counterparts. When you look at the political sphere, you see more men than women in politics. You need to prove yourself all the time. I don’t think that men necessarily have it easier. But my perspective is always – if they can do it, I can do it too. Having role models is so important. When I see other women do things, then the sky has no limits.’

Questioned why there are less women in politics, Miriam believes that many women put a lot of limitations on themselves. ‘We have these concerns going through our mind all the time. I think women need to achieve more self-confidence. Our generation was brought up that women were not up to it as boys. I was always questioned why I wanted to study so much since I’m simply a woman. Upbringing makes a difference and I hope that future generations are not brought up as so. My mother always pushed us even though we were girls. My father was always very liberal in his way of thinking. We need to push our girls but also make sure that our boys understand that we’re equal and that we can be complimentary to each other. These are the cultural moulds we need to continue breaking.’

Miriam believes that more women in politics will bring in the female perspective. ‘Like it or not, women see things differently and we have different experiences. We’re here to legislate for everyone. So, having all these perspectives coming in to play, we can make sure to address all issues.’

Juggling between family life and a career, Miriam claims that having a supportive family is extremely important. ‘It helps – I rely so much on John to balance career and family commitments. I try to be present always but sometimes I need to be reminded as well, I have to admit that! Sometimes, you need your own rules. I take the kids with me to the office, especially in summer. I also encourage my staff to do this. I make sure that I’m there with the kids in the morning before they go to school, and I make it a point that I see them before they go to sleep. I try to avoid doing dinner meetings, for example as that is my time with the kids. We also spend Saturday and Sundays together as a family. Of course, there will be exceptions we also try our best to keep these family days.’

Looking back, Miriam measures her greatest successes and satisfaction, when she manages to make someone’s life easier and better. This makes it all worthwhile.

As a final note, Miriam wants to make sure that her kids are always super happy and that they are proud of their mother. ‘For women in Malta, I would like them to understand that they can do it and they can make it and that understand financial independence is key for empowerment. For my country, I would like us to realise the importance that we have even though we’re a small country. There are no limitations for us and for what we can achieve!’ Listen to the full podcast below.