Women in Tech

IWD: Why attention must be paid on women participation in clean energy


By Juliet Umeh

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Women’s Day, IWD, today, a talent advisory firm, Shortlist and an alliance organization, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, GEAPP, have called for special attention on female labour force participation in green jobs.
The firms made the call while releasing a new report which showed that female labour force participation in green jobs is highly underrepresented across the sector.
Director of Shortlist Futures, and author of the report, titled: “Empowering Women in Clean Energy: Advancing and Retaining an Equitable Workforce,” Ciara Remerscheid, said that the report highlighted new data on the experiences of women in the clean energy sector in Africa.
According to her: “The data, collected from over 150 professionals across sub-Saharan Africa, provides insights on the causes of gender inequity in the traditionally male-dominated industry. It also featured the sector’s first pay equity analysis, revealing the positive but unequal impact of job training and placement programs on salaries in the industry.
“This report builds on the September 2023 publication, “Bottlenecks and Breakthroughs: Advancing Gender Equity in African Clean Energy,” which investigated the talent pipeline and recruitment barriers for women entering clean energy jobs, and focuses on workplace challenges that limit women’s advancement and retention once they have entered the sector.
“Women remain severely under-represented across levels of management in clean energy companies. Previous research shows that women hold only a quarter of leadership and manager roles at renewable energy companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Empowering Women in Clean Energy” synthesizes insights from women in the field and presents recommendations for better outcomes, including structured training, mentorship and coaching programs, transparent pathways to promotion, flexible maternity leave policies and access to female role models.
“As investments in climate and clean energy grow in Africa, we need to pay serious attention to female labor force participation in green jobs.
“This report provides a blueprint for clean energy companies to harness the talent of women throughout their organizations.”
The reports were funded by GEAPP as part of the “Women for Green Jobs” (W4GJ) program implemented by Shortlist with support from Value for Women.
“The aim of W4GJ is to help more women access and succeed in clean energy careers in Africa, specifically targeting job placements, career support and employer-level interventions across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
“This programme works with over 40 clean energy companies, including Husk Power, Nuru, Sistema.bio and Sun King, to support their growth by addressing equitable hiring challenges.
Also sowaking, Director of Demand Jobs and Livelihoods at GEAPP, Makena Ireri, said: “Women experience the greatest repercussions of climate change, which amplifies existing gender inequalities. A powerful transformation is underway in the African clean energy sector, as companies are making explicit efforts to hire and retain women at every level.
“As we work to further an equitable green energy transition, we see an unprecedented opportunity to drive greater job and economic opportunities for women, youth and low-income communities.
“Empowering Women in Clean Energy: Advancing and Retaining an Equitable Workforce” features a gender pay equity analysis of clean energy professionals that have been placed in the W4GJ program over the past five years.
“The analysis finds that third-party training and placement programs such as W4GJ play a crucial role in boosting compensation parity between male and female employees.
“While the W4GJ program increased incomes for female candidates in absolute terms, we found that when compared to male peers in the sectors, hourly earnings for men accelerated at a faster pace than women, particularly after the program intervention,” Ireri said.
Earlier in his speech, Country Delivery Lead in Nigeria for GEAPP, Muhammad Wakil, said: “Today, we are excited to unveil a groundbreaking report that sheds light on the crucial issue of gender inequity in the clean energy sector, an industry traditionally dominated by men.
“The strategic launch of this report, exactly a week to International Women’s Day, underlines the significance of this topic and adds symbolic importance to our discussions.
“The report’s findings directly contribute to this year’s International Women’s Day broader theme of “Inspire Inclusion” and UN’s theme on ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.’ This timing also aligns with our quest for empowerment in clean energy, emphasizing the need for collective action to address gender inequity within the sector,” Wakil said.

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