Launch Event for the “Women in Green Energy” Initiative
“Diversity and women’s participation in the energy transition are not only a question of human rights, but also a source of innovation.”
On 7 December 2020, the Sino-German Energy Partnership launched the “Women in Green Energy” initiative at the UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. The initiative aims at connecting and empowering female professionals in China’s energy sector, fostering women’s potential and contribution to accelerate the far-reaching energy transitions in both countries.
Even though the year 2020 and 2021 are likely to be dominated by coping with COVID-19 and its consequences, arguably two of the greatest long-term challenges that humanity faces are combating climate change and achieving a successful energy transition. In order to do so successfully, all of humankind’s talent, ingenuity and brainpower must be tapped, and we cannot afford forgoing the potential of the world’s women. Research shows that diversity in staff and leadership positions fosters innovation, problem-solving, and prudent decision-making. It is therefore important to recognize the potential of women’s contribution, and to empower women and support their engagement in the energy transition.
However, in the energy sector is still far from achieving gender equality. Women face many obstacles and disadvantages and female participation in the energy sector is much below that of the broader economy. Despite making up 48% of the global labor force, women account for only 22% of staff in conventional energy sectors such as oil and gas and 32% in the renewable energy sector. However, even in renewables, women’s participation is much lower in STEM related jobs (28%) compared to administrative jobs (45%).
Hence, under the framework of the Initiative for “Women in Green Energy”, the Sino-German Energy Partnership will leverage the advantages of the Sino-German bilateral partnership platform and work together with interested stakeholders from governmental departments, research institutes, think tanks and enterprises to recognize women’s strengths in the energy sector, build dialogue platforms for women in the energy sector, promote knowledge sharing and information exchange at home and abroad, help female practitioners in the energy sector to explore their potential and make a greater contribution to the energy transition.
At the launch event on 7 December, representatives from government, women networks, associations, and companies gathered to discuss the current status and challenges of female engagement in the energy sector, as well as existing and potential measures for empowering women. The speakers shared a number of domestic and international experiences, showcasing how awareness-raising measures and gender policies that have been applied in public authorities and private companies. Participants also learned about established international initiatives and networks to promote the active participation of female leaders in the global clean energy sector. “In GIZ, we highlight gender equality as a goal, a value, a principle for action and a central objective across sectors.”, as Mr. Thorsten Giehler, country director of GIZ China emphasized while sharing the gender strategy of GIZ China.
„If we want the best ideas to shape the energy world of tomorrow, we will of course need to include women. The fossil era was dominated by men, let’s ensure that the energy transition will be shaped by both men and women. That must be our goal as government authorities, as industry companies, but also as individuals.“, emphasized Mr. Falk Boemeke, Division Director for Bilateral Energy Cooperation, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in his closing remarks. The launch event of the initiative “Women Empowering Green Energy” was only just the beginning of, what will serve as an active and long-standing platform for facilitating dialogue, exchange, support and joint growth.
The aims of the network:
- Awareness raising: Promote gender mainstreaming and gender equality
- “Equality matters!”: Promote equal pay for equal work, equal competition and leadership conditions
- Empowering women: Provide non-discriminatory, gender-equal training to encourage women to develop their own career paths and stimulate their potential in the workplace
- Fostering women’s contribution to accelerating the energy transition
“Women in Green Energy” is an initiative of the Sino-German Energy Partnership, implemented by GIZ. Partners include:
- innovative Green Development Program (iGDP)
- Green & Low Carbon Development Think Tank Partnership (GDTP)
- Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET)
- Women in Renewables Asia (WiRA)
- Women in Green Hydrogen Network
To join the platform, or to receive more information about the initiative for “Women in Green Energy”, please contact Ms. Lv Yanan (Yanan.lv(at)giz.de).