Female empowerment in the energy sector

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has launched a digital communications project called ‘Women Energize Women’, which is to attract women across the world to professions linked to the energy transition, and bring them together.

Symbolbild Women energize women© BMWK

There is African art on the walls and the sun is shining on Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. To begin with, Ifeoma Malo appears to be a little nervous as she takes the floor on the ‘Women Energize Women’ YouTube channel to explain about her work for the energy transition as CEO of Clean Tech Hub Nigeria. This little bout of nerves, however, has nothing to do with a lack of experience. She is used to addressing large global audiences, talking about energy-related issues. In this instance, her excitement is linked to her passion for inspiring other women to work in the field of energy. It is clear that she is fully immersed in this task.

#womenenergize: from New Delhi to Abu Dhabi

Go a few clicks further and you’ll hear from Gauri Singh, who is describing her job as Deputy Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. The video is only four minutes long, which is not nearly enough. Viewers are left with a score of questions they want to discuss with Gauri. The good news is: even during the pandemic, it is possible to find women like Ifeoma and Gauri, let yourself be inspired by them and benefit from their expertise – no matter where you are. You can just use the various platforms of ‘Women Energize Women‘. These include a YouTube channel, a twitter and an instagram account, and a LinkedIn page.

Virtual series of events showcasing women working in the energy sector

As the digital communications campaign wants to interest even more women in jobs in the energy sector, including managerial positions, and provide information about this work, it combines a number of different measures with the YouTube portraits. This includes monthly virtual events, such as discussions, interviews or networking events with interesting women working in the sector, and also events organised in cooperation with established and new women’s networks, organisations and institutions.

The speakers at the virtual events are women from the international world of energy, including female representatives of German and international companies who share their experience and their views with the audience. Since its launch in November 2021, the campaign has already reached more than 390,000 people across the globe.

Renewable energy: 42 million jobs by 2050

Beyond this, the project wants to provide information about the situation women are confronted with in the energy sector and wants to point out ways in which this could be improved. A closer look at the labour market statistics shows that there is a lot to be done.

According to a report by IRENA, the number of jobs in the sector could increase from currently 13 million to 42 million in 2050 (Global Renewables Outlook: Energy transformation 2050). The forecast highlights the major economic opportunities associated with the energy transition, and also shows that women are increasingly making use of these. However, women accounted for no more than 32% of the global workforce in the renewable energy sector in 2018 (Study: ‘Women for Sustainable Energy’, conducted by the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition). According to this study, women are particularly underrepresented in managerial positions and technical jobs. This is a critical point, given that talent is scarce in the field of renewables and that diversity is a major driver of economic success and innovation.

‘Women Energize Women #womenenergize’ is a communications tool of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and is being implemented by GIZ and the German Renewable Energy Association (BEE) as part of Germany’s bilateral energy partnerships. ‘Women Energize Women’ is aimed at women across the world, but focuses on the countries with which Germany has concluded energy partnerships. These include Algeria, Brazil, Chile, China, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.