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05/02/2012 03:12 PM     print story email story  

Bringing Women Into the Clean Energy Workforce

SustainableBusiness.com News

One of the new programs announced at the Clean Energy Ministerial conference aims to bring more women into the clean energy workforce and support their advancement into leadership positions.

There is a well-documented gender gap in the clean energy professions, as in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Studies show that organizations' outcomes qualitatively improve when the leadership is composed of at least 30% of each gender.

Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States each committed to undertake meaningful activities to advance women in clean energy. Each country is developing its own plan, tailored to its unique workforce and industry needs.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a three-part plan in concert with MIT's Energy Initiative to begin implementing the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment initiative (C3E) in the US.

The partners will hold a "Women in Clean Energy" Symposium and an awards program in September.  

The U.S. C3E plan:

AMBASSADORS: distinguished senior professionals who share an interest in broadening the recruitment, retention and advancement of highly qualified women in clean energy will serve as champions and select the people who will receive awards. 

Ambassadors include: Maxine Savitz, Vice President of the National Academy of Engineering and member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Kim Saylors-Laster, Vice President for Energy, Walmart; Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy; Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations & Environment; and Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Investors.

AWARDS: The DOE C3E Awards program will recognize mid-career individuals who advance the leadership and accomplishments of women in clean energy.

Six awards will be given, including a cash prize of $10,000.

SYMPOSIUM: an invitation-only annual symposium on September 28 will bring together women and men, including the Ambassadors, awardees, academia, NGOs, industry, and representatives from other C3E partner governments to help build a strong national and international community of professionals who support women in clean energy.

At the Ministerial conference, Sweden's Minister of Information Technology & Energy, Anna?Karin Hatt, and South Africa's Director General of Energy, Nelisiwe Magubane, delivered keynote addresses at the C3E event, followed by a moderated panel discussion on the policies and programs that have been effective in increasing women's participation in the clean energy workforce.

Website: www.cleanenergyministerial.org/our_work/women_in_clean_energy/index.html



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