More POWERful women needed to work in energy

Last week the Energy Institute and POWERful Women hosted a roundtable discussion on ‘The importance of women in energy’ to address the barriers facing women working in the global energy sector.

The numbers of women in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – careers are significantly lower across the globe. By 2030 the POWERful Women (PfW) initiative aims to have women in 30% of energy sector board positions with 40% of senior management positions held by women.

A report – published by PfW earlier this year makes it clear that there needs to be a stronger, more determined focus from CEOs in taking the lead in maintaining a better balanced workforce. More women should be encouraged to take up careers in energy at all levels.

Jointly chairing the event were Energy Institute chief executive, Louise Kingham and US deputy secretary of energy, Dr Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. In her keynote speech the latter said:

“If we are going to meet our global climate and energy challenges, and develop and deploy the clean energy technologies that will power the world of tomorrow, we need to inspire more young people and more women to get involved in this dynamic field – in both the public and private sectors.”

Ms Kingham said: “We hope to share good practice between the UK and the USA. around STEM-based career development, mentoring, and the leadership needed to drive a culture change in our industry for the benefit of all.”

This event highlighted some of the major challenges women face and what is being done to cultivate a climate that can better promote opportunities for women and others who have been traditionally underrepresented in the energy sector.