Challenges of Female Researchers and Female Entrepreneurs

The 10th  webinar in the framework of the W4RES Capacity Building measures for supporting gender mainstreaming in Women in Renewable Energy System was organized by the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) focusing on the challenges Women Researchers and Entrepreneurs are facing. 

Women in STEM have been fighting for equality in the field for years, trying to reach Decision Making positions and have as many opportunities as their male counterparts. Although many activities and support measures have been in place, still there are some challenges women must struggle with to carry out their research. The 3 main issues are:

  • Stigmas towards women still exist: Women they need to overcome the barrier "this is a man´s job"
  • It's hard to find a balance: Finding a work life balance and dealing with family issues at home doesn't enable women to compete on equal terms
  • Academia and Ecosystems are not inclusive and are more male oriented than women.

The two keynote presenters of our webinar were Anamaria Magri Pantea, Founder and Managing Consultant of Ascend Consulting, with more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, innovation and business development support, as well as access to impact finance through grants, credit and equity investments and Lydia Papadaki, PhD candidate and a researcher at the Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Œëephoria (AE4RIA) (  with an M.Sc. in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment.

Lydia Papadaki's presentation explored four main areas:

  • Climate Change and International Policy Framework
  • Innovation Acceleration: From an idea to a start-up
  • Greece's State of Climate Tech
  • Female entrepreneurs

During her opening, Lydia explained Climate Change and how it is affecting the situation and the opportunities they derive from it and moved ahead with the Policy Framework for the "Transition to Sustainability". In the second part of her presentation she explained the Incubation process while presenting a Climathon orchestrated by EIT Climate-KIC and proceeded with the presentation of MENA Maritime Accelerator, which aims to accelerate the green transformation of the maritime industry by supporting start-ups that provide innovative solutions for the transition to Climate Neutrality and Resilience. The third part focused on the Greek Climate Ecosystem, provided a SWOT analysis and the start up characteristics. Finally she focused on the role of women in the above start-up ecosystem and described women´s added value with: Emotional Intelligence, Ability to multitask, Adaptability, Perseverance, Communication, Understanding, Ability to Take Risks, Humility, Creativity and finally relationship-building. AnaMaria Magri Pantea, using her experience in EU arena for more than 20 years explored for the participants on one side the challenges to world climate and sustainability which are still high and numerous, and on the other the increasing opportunities for women researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to contribute and collaborate to address such challenges, to receive start-up & scale-up support, as well as to be recognized for their great work.

Some of the support schemes AnaMaria presented were: 

✅ EIC Accelerator

✅ European BlueInvest Readiness Assistance


✅ Horizon Results Booster

✅ Women TechEU

✅ WEgate European Gateway for Women Entrepreneurship

✅ European Cluster Collaboration Platform

✅ Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

✅ European Prize for Women Innovators

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We are pleased to announce the publication of the last issue of the W4RES project. The newsletter is available here.

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W4RES held its final event as part of “RE-Energising Europe”, a two-day event on 24 and 25 October in Brussels where 7 EU-funded projects (BECoop, Micat, NEWTrends, NRG2Peers, UP-STAIRS and NUDGE) joined forces to organise joint-sessions focusing on energy communities, energy efficiency, energy behaviour, gender equality and new trends.

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You want to improve gender equality in the renewable energy sector? You’re missing arguments or guidelines on how to implement it? Check out our W4RES tool!

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19 October 2023 – W4RES, the EU-funded project which aims at calling up the involvement of women in the market deployment and uptake of RHC solutions, will publish a report with policy recommendations aiming at creating a more competitive, inclusive and gender-responsive Renewable Heating and Cooling landscape.

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Ihsane Haouach is a social entrepreneur, author, trainer, and speaker, dedicated to promoting equal and sustainable transitions. Alongside international projects targeting an efficient and effective organisation, she founded several non-profit initiatives aimed at promoting equity. As a consultant and trainer, she intervenes to improve organisations’ societal impact. Her experience and skills from both the corporate […]

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Bipasha Baruah is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues at Western University.