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.
A more gender-balanced energy transition is ready to start
Women hold great potential as agents of change, supporting and accelerating the market uptake of renewable energy for heating and cooling, all while getting us closer to meeting the EU’s renewable energy targets for 2030. Renewable energy employs about 32% women, compared to 22% in the energy sector overall. Still, women are underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) jobs and leadership and management positions.
Since September 2021, W4RES partners have been supporting women in the RHC sector in eight European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Slovakia). More than fifty women-led projects received innovation, technical or business support. W4RES also developed a capacity building programme to be used by organisations and companies to improve gender-sensitivity, create an equal and attractive RHC sector for women and enable women market uptake of this sector.
Empower women to power up renewable energy
W4RES is now sharing its policy recommendations designed to promote gender equity and inclusivity within the RHC sector whilst boosting RHC solutions. These policy recommendations address critical issues faced by women in the sector, emphasising the importance of awareness, inclusivity, and financial support.
- Support a Gender Balanced RHC Sector for Future Generations
W4RES highlights the importance of raising awareness in schools, connecting STEM education to climate protection, fostering collaborations between educational institutions and RHC companies, and providing skills training and technical support to unemployed women. It calls for a multi-faceted approach to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in RHC.
- Promote an Inclusive Workplace in the RHC Sector
Creating a more inclusive workplace within the RHC industry is essential. W4RES suggests the following actions: implementing gender quotas, offering entrepreneurial support, fostering networking opportunities, establishing mentoring programs, and promoting gender and family-friendly policies.
- Advance Gender Equity in the RHC Sector
To achieve gender equity in the RHC sector, W4RES emphasises the importance of inclusivity training, gender-disaggregated data collection, gender-quota decision-making, gender-inclusive communication, management training, and gender-smart policies.
- Institutionalise Awareness on Gender Mainstreaming
It highlights the need for institutionalised awareness campaigns, gender-smart training, promotional campaigns, and showcasing women-led initiatives to create a more inclusive RHC sector.
- Raise and Provide Funds for Women-Led Projects
This recommendation addresses financial barriers faced by women in the RHC sector, advocating for the implementation of gender-just quotas, dedicated funding for women-led initiatives, and increased participation of women in renewable energy research.
By implementing these policy recommendations, we can take significant steps towards breaking down barriers, encouraging more women to participate in the RHC sector, and ultimately achieving our energy and sustainability goals.
The W4RES policy briefs are available here.
RE-Energising Europe: when seven EU-funded projects join forces to support energy efficiency and inclusivity
Taking place on 24 and 25 October in Brussels (Belgium), this two-day event, co-organised by seven EU-funded projects (Horizon2020), is a unique opportunity to know more about the projects’ tools and results and to openly discuss with speakers from within and outside the projects.
W4RES will present its capacity building programme, toolkit, recommendations, and will also organise a co-creation workshop “DIY Gender Equal RES sector: Dive into practice with W4RES towards a gender equal RHC and RES sector”.
The event is now fully booked but you can register on the waiting list and receive the recording of the event.
Communications contact: Céline Suchet, suchet(@)eurec.be
Project Coordinator contact: Ioannis Konstas, konstas(@)qplan-intl.gr