From climate change to sustainable development, renewable energy can be part of the solution. But what about gender equality? As we said in out last article, the renewables sector is a fast-growing opportunity for women; Women for Sustainable Energy, a study developed by our members, Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition and IRENA, has found that there are more women working in renewables (32%) compared to those working in the fossil fuel industry (22%).
Although this is a start, it’s not enough. Achieving a sustainable energy future must include gender parity. This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #EachforEqual, wants to show that our individual actions can challenge the current male-dominated system. Here in the REN21 Secretariat we asked our team “what is needed to combat gender inequality in the sector?” Here are their answers.
How can we combat gender inequality?
“Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue, essential for economies and communities to thrive, just as renewable energy is. Making the change to renewables is an opportunity to tackle systemic issues in our society, including gender inequality.” – Rana Adib, Executive Director
“The simplest thing we can do is visibility. There are still so many all-male panels. Because we have so many women on our team, traveling to events, showing up and being visible is the simplest way to combat gender inequality in our work” – Hannah Murdock, Project Manager & Analyst
“I think an attitude of inclusion and curiosity can go a long way. I surround myself with people who inspire me to face my fears and develop my confidence. The women and men I’ve worked with continually show me that it’s possible to accomplish whatever I set my mind to” – Anna Swenson, Intern
“Pay. We have to establish equal pay for women and men” – Laura Williamson, Outreach & Communication Manager
“Inclusion. Being able to make your voice heard with the leadership” – Hend Yaqoob, Intern
“We can get young people involved early in topics that are typically more male-dominated to break down gender barriers from the very beginning”- Duncan Gibb, Project Manager & Analyst
“To be very honest, women need to work together. It’s a man club out there – men make their decisions when they drink beer and watch football, and women are often not part of that. That’s why women need to connect and form their own communities – with men – to change the rules of the game, together” – Lea Ranalder, Project Manager & Analyst
“I think it’s a question of role-modeling to encourage new talent into the energy sector. We need to have women in more prominent and more visible roles acting as the face of leadership, rather than the default ‘leader’ always being male” – Katie Findlay, Intern
“Creating spaces for discussion inviting men and women in equal capacities is key but not enough. Give women the tools and knowledge needed to debate and encourage women to speak up and be heard” – Vibhushree Hamirwasia, Community Manager
“Women should increase dialogue and solidarity among each other. When we mobilise in numbers, we are able to be much more effective.” – Dalia Assoum, Intern
REN21 is the only global renewable energy community of actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry. We provide up-to-date and peer-reviewed facts, figures and analysis of global developments in technology, policies and markets. Our goal: enable decision-makers to make the transition to renewable energy happen – now.