“Who rules the world?”
The lyrics by the powerhouse that is Beyonce follow this question with a very clear answer – girls!
And August was our chance to show it.
August has been Enlit Africa/ESI Africa Women’s Month and we have revelled in the opportunity to showcase several superstars. We shared stories about women who work as engineers, lawyers, analysts, economists and leaders; women who run renewable energy companies, who manage the system operator and advocate for energy access and a fair energy transition for all.
In all these stories, we have had the privilege to share tales of perseverance, self-belief, motivation and support.
Despite making up more than 50% of the world’s population, women are still largely underrepresented in the energy sector. Women are, in addition, disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to energy.
“Women do most of the cooking, cleaning, and caring for the family. As a result, they suffer the greatest impacts of energy poverty,” says Nnenna Nwabufo, acting director-general for East Africa, African Development Bank (AfDB).
She stated that when women are excluded from energy governance, decision-making processes are more likely to result in policies that ignore the unique needs, knowledge and contributions of women.
According to the IEA: “… the challenges of the energy sector are more pressing since the sector is going through a process of transformation; clean energy transitions will require innovative solutions and business models to be adopted and greater participation from a diverse talent pool.”
This narrative is being supported by organisations such as ENERGIA and the AfDB, who are encouraging governments to “commit to gender mainstreaming, … and invest in gender-responsive approaches in policies and programmes and ensure budget commitment.”
Research has shown that women in leadership positions enable diversity of perspectives and innovative decision making, and on average companies with women in senior management saw a 30% higher return on equity compared to their peers.
We invite you to review the interviews and features on the women showcased via Enlit Africa and ESI Africa over the course of the last month and invite you to join us later today when we will end Women’s Month off with a big announcement and a step forward in the journey for women in the energy sector.