A Network for Island Women Leaders in Energy
The Clinton Climate Initiative’s (CCI) experience in the islands’ energy space renders it uniquely positioned to support women’s empowerment in the renewable energy transition. While women make up more than 50% of university students in most countries, their employment account for only 32% of the renewable energy industry and 22% of the oil and gas sector. Gender inequality in the field is a result of several barriers to entry and career advancement in the clean energy industry, including gender perceptions, a lack of girls in STEM programs, limited professional networks and mentoring, work mobility, and wage inequality among a multitude of others.
CCI is leading efforts to boost the presence of women leaders on islands through its Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) Network. Since its founding, more than 500 men and women have joined WIRE’s ranks from more than 60 countries. WIRE has worked to eliminate barriers to advancement in sustainable energy through four programmatic areas:
- Mentorship: The WIRE Network creates mentoring relationships between women in mid- and senior-career positions. In the two-year reciprocal programs, the mentors and mentees meet one-on-one every month, as a cohort every six weeks, and are given access to a resource database for career advancement. Mentees and mentors are required to fulfill a Commitment to Action within their communities – a new, specific, and measurable project that addresses a challenge within the nexus of gender and energy. Commitments range from LED lightbulb distribution to impoverished female-headed households to promoting engineering at all-girls schools in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Technical skills: WIRE Network members receive a wide variety of technical training materials and access to webinars and in-person training sessions. Notably, each year the WIRE Network organizes an all-women panel at an international energy conference to discuss topics ranging from gender mainstreaming renewable energy projects to technical panels on the development of renewable energy.
- Strategic partnerships: The WIRE Network has partnered with the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All to collaborate on and participate in their People-Centered Accelerator by identifying and highlighting energy access companies in the private sector who have implemented successful gender interventions.
- Advocacy: The WIRE Network advocates for women’s leadership at the local, national, and international levels by raising awareness of women’s abilities to succeed in the renewable energy space. Our members have been featured in a variety of international outlets, including Forbes Magazine. The WIRE Network also highlights its exceptional members at conferences in countries ranging from Iceland to Aruba and the Netherlands.