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‘Women Energize Women’: Recharging gender parity

The 'Women Energize Women' conference held under the umbrella event: The smarter E 2022, successfully concluded its very first run, on May 12, 2022, in Munich. The event was organized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Climate Action (BMWK), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), with the aim to inform, mobilise, inspire and connect women around the world to be a progressive part of the energy transition. 

The theme of the whole-day event centered on gender inclusive opportunities in the energy sector, and deliberation on the importance of women participation in the energy transition.

The programme began with a press conference organised for the media fellows invited from energy partnership countries around the world, followed by engaging panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops and networking sessions.

The fist panel discussion of the day centered on 'How to build a global green hydrogen economy?' and the possible role of women in its creation. The session 'Market Place of Ideas', was the highlight of the event, where the many participating women's networks and organizations presented their programs and ideas. It was inspiring to see the initiatives of women groups around the world and their efforts in realizing gender parity in the clean and sustainable space.

Presenting the initiatives by her organisation from India, Disha Agarwal - Programme Lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, said: "WIS (Women in Sustainability) leans in for women who lean in for the planet." She also expressed that participation from men and women is equally important to mainstream gender inclusiveness and diversity. All representatives present expressed the need for common platforms to 'amplify women's voices' around the world. They all spoke of the objectives of their organizations in enabling and supporting women in the new energy sphere. Key takeaways from the presentations were:

  • -First step in empowering women in the energy sector is to connect them by providing platforms to exchange ideas and knowledge
  • -Training, creating awareness, and providing exposure are important aspects of enabling women.
  • -Mentoring is a powerful idea. Conducting mentorship programs, where women in leadership positions can mentor other aspiring women.
  • -Increasing visibility of women in different forums.


The panel discussion on challenges in energy transition and the involvement of women in the process, was thought-inducing. 'Sun is only 50% of everything, the rest is awareness, infrastructure and training,' expressed one of the speakers, stressing on the need for training, especially programs for solar technicians. It's not just creating jobs for women, contextual understanding of cultural, social, and educational aspects is also important; and within these conditions what are the skills that the women can foster, needs attention. 

"We work completely with women energy networks from all around the world. We connect them from different countries and regions because what we see is that the challenges women face, are the same across all continents and countries. It is also important to provide visibility to women because a lot of capable women in this sector often do not get the same exposure as their male colleagues. We are trying to learn from each other and inspire each other and empower each other to take further action and make more things happen."

Christine Lins – Executive Director of GWNET (Global Women's Network for the Energy Transition)

"Renewable energy is one of the pillars of our work, second is energy efficiency, and then Hydrogen that will provide new opportunities for areas that cannot be electrified. Women, especially in poor areas, use energy for cooking and housework, if we do not consider the women's perspective in the energy transition, we are falling short. Also, women add to the debate - 20% in the fossil energy world and 32% in renewable, you can see that women really contribute to the energy transition."

Ellen Von Zitzewitz, Deputy Director, Climate & Energy Cooperation with Industrial Countries, Hydrogen initiatives, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & climate Change

The concluding session of the day - 'Investing in Women' – explored the potential of investing in women, in terms of educating them and providing financial assistance. Dr Rashi Gupta – MD of Vision Mechatronics, in her inspiring talk, encouraged the women aspirants to overcome small barriers of the mind, to overcome bigger challenges – "It is our responsibility to take up the energies, absorb them, adapt to them and then use it to grow."

Samira Sousa – General coordinator of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Energy and Mines – reflected on how 'being accepted' in the work place is one of unspoken hurdles women face. To overcome that, she said, "it is important to prove to the male colleagues that we can do the same work with the same quality."

Barbel Hohn – Special Representative for Energy in Africa, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, spoke about helping women through ownership. "Bring them to positions where they have power, where they can decide."

The eventful day ended with a networking dinner, where all the participants mingled together; from different regions and walks of life, but sharing a common purpose.

It was a fabulous week of sharing, learning and energizing. Kudos to the organisers for creating a unique platform to further the cause of opportunities for women in the field of new energies.

The 'Women Energize Women' conference aims to address energy transition issues by looking at them from a female perspective. It facilitates discussions with female speakers from all across the globe, professional networks and mentoring opportunities for women in the energy transition.

Author : Nishtha Gupta
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