Dynamic discussions about gender-responsive communication in the RHC sector during W4RES webinar n°3

Should we use the word “first language” instead of “mother tongue”, or “workforce” instead of “man power”? Put pictures of active women on a company´s website to recruit more women as employees? Avoid gender stereotypes in regard of technical aspects when talking to customers & beneficiaries?  

During our webinar Gender-responsive communication in RHC sector on 5th July 2022, the WECF energy team has raised some of these questions to elaborate together with the participants how to reach a more gender-just RHC sector via communication. The webinar was the third out of our five-webinar-series in the frame of W4RES.

The webinar started with presenting the aim of gender-just communication. Communication is necessary for our daily life – while communicating we try to understand each other, each other´s background and each other´s perspective. Even more so, communication shapes our perception of the world, our behaviour, and social roles. Languages have evolved by mainly representing a male gaze. Therefore, it´s not surprising that many languages are built upon the so-called generic masculine. To challenge this norm, during the past years, a debate about the “gendering” of languages has grown mainly regarding German, French and Spanish but also in regard of other languages. 

During the webinar, the WECF team has not only presented examples of verbal but also about para-linguistic and non-verbal communication, e.g., body language or photos. It was explained that the words, pictures or expressions we use convey a certain message and that this message should always be inclusive and free of stereotypes. A possibility to pursue more gender-just communication as an actor within the RHC sector is to avoid such stereotypical images on external communication channels (webpage, presentations, brochures). For example, instead of depicting only men as technical experts, women can be pictured while installing a heat pump or explaining technical details of a project.  

After having demonstrated some examples, the audience of the webinar was split into groups to examine via tasks how to write a more gender-friendly job offer and what words to use for this purpose.  

All in all, the discussions were very lively and fruitful. It was shown that gender-just communication is a useful and necessary tool for companies or other actors in the RHC sector to increase their visibility, to tackle the underrepresentation of women in the sector, address several target groups in a more just way and hence to bring forward a more gender-just energy transition. 

Find the recording of our Webinar n°3 here 

We would like to thank everyone who has been participating and following our capacity-building program until now! And we are looking forward to welcoming newcomers! No gender experience is needed.

Find below the full program:

N°1: Overcoming the invisible barrier: Gender-dimensions of the RHC sector - 31st May 2022, 10 am CET

N°2: Gender tool: Gender-self assessment & Gender action plan for RHC actors - 15th June 2022, 10 am CET

N°3: Gender tool: Gender-just communication - 5th July 2022, 10 am CET

N°4: Support energy communities and gender-just energy communities - 7th September 2022 > You can register here.

N°5: TBD - Depending on the participant’s needs identified - September 2022

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