AGENT (GECCO) Energy Webinar: Challenges and strategies to increase and retain women’s participation in the energy sector

AGENT (GECCO*) Energy Webinar: Challenges and strategies to increase and retain women’s participation in the energy sector

This webinar was hosted on March 22, 2016.

Women’s participation in the energy sector, including as technicians and decision makers, remains low. The most recent World Economic Forum jobs report calculates that women make up only 15% of the energy labor force. The reasons for women’s low participation in the sector relate to social stereotyping and the effect this has in early education stages, where girls are less likely to be encouraged to engage in activities that would later on increase their options for joining science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Moreover, once women join the labor force, they face a series of challenges to remain in the sector and later to rise into leadership positions. These challenges include the difficulty of maneuvering in a male-dominated sector, a lack of female role models and mentors, and labor conditions, such as long working days and a high number of required site visits to distant locations, which are not conducive or adaptable to women’s roles as caregivers at the household level.

With job creation on the rise, particularly in the renewable energy sector, it is fundamental to understand the challenges and opportunities women face to join and remain in the energy sector, particularly for those designing and implementing strategies that will encourage more women to join the renewable energy ranks.

The webinar will be moderated by Ana Rojas, IUCN GGO, and will include the following presentations:

  • Increasing women’s participation in wind energy: How WoWE is tackling the challenge with Kristen Graf, Women of Wind Energy
  • Women’s effective participation in the energy sector: Investing in women’s leadership skills with Ana Maria Majano, Consultant
  • Engendering utilities: How companies are increasing women’s participation in their ranks with Ellen Dragotto, USAID

The webinar recording is available here: http://genderandenvironment.org/resource/gecco-webinar-challenges-strategies-increase-retain-womens-participation-energy-sector/

The Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO)* initiative is a five-year program launched by USAID and IUCN in 2014. GECCO’s overall goal is to leverage advancements in women’s empowerment and gender equality through, and for, the benefit of climate change and development outcomes. Through its series of webinars, GECCO aims at increasing knowledge and sensitization of key stakeholders in the energy and mitigation sectors as a means to advance women’s empowerment.

*The former Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO) initiative is now part of a broader program, Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), which aims to improve development outcomes by strengthening environmental programing through gender integration and achieving gender equality outcomes.