Women in Clean Energy: the Technology Collaboration Program of the IEA

Women in Clean Energy: the Technology Collaboration Program of the IEA

by ALICIA MIGNONE / Senior Energy Expert, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment was created in 2010 as an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to enhance international collaboration and promote the participation of women in the clean energy transition.

In 2017, it was decided to organise the activities as an IEA Technology Collaboration Program providing, in this way, a strong foundation to the work and additional visibility to the C3E work globally. Along with ISGAN (2011), it is the 2nd CEM Initiative to organize its activities using the IEA’s TCP mechanism. The founding members of the C3E TCP - Canada, Italy and Sweden - have been joined by new partners: Australia, Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, The United States, the European Commission and a growing number of countries are interested in membership. In general terms, the gender parity or gender equality is a long-standing issue at international level but it is not yet a reality and progress in closing the gender gap is slow.

It is important to highlight that the European Commission approved the
Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 in March 2020 setting out a vision, policy objectives and actions to make concrete progress on gender equality in Europe and towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, at European level, women earn on average 16 percent less than men per hour; only 67 percent of women are employed, compared to 78 percent of men; on average, women’s pensions are 30.1 percent lower than men’s pensions; 75 percent of unpaid care and domestic work is done by women.

The energy industry remains one of the most gender imbalanced: women make up substantially less than half of the workforce across the energy sector: 32 percent share of women workforce in the renewable energy sector and 22 percent in the oil and gas sector (
Renewable Energy, A Gender Perspective, IRENA, 2019) and continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions. The benefits of energy to economic growth and human development are undeniable and also it is a critical enabler for reducing inequities between men and women and boys and girls. Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 7, respectively, aim to achieve gender equality and universal energy access. Despite the commitments shown at the global and national level by various agencies and governments, the empirical evidence base for understanding gender inclusion in various phases of energy project cycle is still at a nascent stage.

The C3E TCP objectives are focused on improving knowledge and data collection; promoting leadership and opportunities for women; increasing recognition of women in the energy sector; raising ambition in public and private organizations; establishing networks. The TCP has organized its work in a set of five Workstreams aimed at achieving the objectives previously specified. They are Knowledge and Data Collection; C3E International Ambassadors Program and Mentorship; C3E Awards Program; C3E Communications and Website; Equal by 30. This section presents the reports carried out by the C3E TCP and the IEA as well as reference to the International Workshop on Knowledge Building on Women in Clean Energy. The C3E TCP was created in mid 2017 and its first report
Women in Clean Energy. Knowledge, Gaps and Opportunities was launched at the IEA Ministerial side event on 7th November 2017. [...]

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