Women and Green Skills in the Renewable Energy Sector
In the renewable energy sector still remains a significant gender gap in access and consumption, as well as in the workforce. Women are underrepresented in the energy sector compared to the global labour force (48%). The numbers are slightly higher in the renewable industry (32%) compared to the conventional energy sector (28%). Most women work in office-related corporate functions such as human resources, finance, and customer service. The numbers in higher positions that could influence decision-making remain especially low. Also, the number of women in technical careers is still very low.
Nonetheless, women are underrepresented in the workforce, but they are often most dependent on reliable energy sources in their daily work. Cooking in the home can account for 60-80% of black carbon emissions because fuel is often used for cooking. In addition, women are exposed to extreme temperatures and air pollution. Sustainable modern energy infrastructures and technologies usually reach women last, while they are most dependent on them. Women are generally more affected by energy poverty than men - up to 70% of the people living in poverty are women.
In order to enhance the gender equality, women have to reach higher positions to be involved in the decision-making process to prepare the way for those entering the field. The reduction of gender stereotypes and the division into “male” and “female” jobs is also essential. Regarding to this issue is crucial, that girls and women have access to education, training grants and mentoring opportunities.
The GFSE policy Brief can be found here