Webinar N°5: How to empower women in the RHC sector: what concrete actions are available?

This was it! We have reached the end of our webinar series! Here we, WECF, presented a series of five webinars for capacity building on gender mainstreaming and women empowerment in the renewable heating and cooling sector (RHC). During this program, we have seen the importance of women's empowerment and different benefits, barriers and opportunities for women in the energy sector. We listened to the inspiring experiences of different experts in the field and got the tools on how to achieve a gender-just energy transition. So, what’s now? It is now the time to act and participate in changing mindsets in order to stop reproducing gender inequalities.

During our last webinar, on 21st September 2022, we showed why we need to establish a shift in the mindset. We see that gender stereotypes are still being reproduced, despite the efforts to avoid this. EU policies such as the Green Deal are still gender blind. Moreover, we need to be aware that some policies do evolve and mainstream gender but technologies can unintentionally be masculine, leading to reproduction of inequalities.

We also emphasized the fact that gender equality is the responsibility of men, women and all genders. Because only focusing on women would remove men’s share of taking equal responsibility to deliver gender equality, and this would result in further reproduction of such inequalities.

This shows the need for concrete measures to shift these mindsets!

Therefore, we focused on concrete actions available to achieve the empowerment of women in the RHC sector. The three tools that were discussed during the webinar were mentoring/coaching and networking, women empowerment trainings, and active women recruitment. In mentoring/coaching and networking segment Katharina Habersbrunner (WECF) shared her experiences and stories as a mentor from GWNET mentoring program with the participants.

Furthermore, we presented a list of different networks, mentoring and role models programs that participants can easily get an access to.

In addition, we suggested among our network a list of gender trainers that participants can reach out.

The webinar ended with Wolfgang Köhler-Naumann, head of the supervisory board of the ‘Bürger Energie Bremen eE’ cooperative, sharing his experience in recruiting women for the supervisory board. This cooperative was established in 2014 and now has 300 members approximately. The board of members and supervisory board were completely male-dominant. To achieve a better gender equality, after several refusals from women to join the boards (with reasons like too many formalities, not being willing to join a male-dominated board, etc.), they offer women a four-month program, consisting of information sessions (e.g. on energy communities, missions of a board or supervisory board member, self-confidence in energy communities, etc). At the end of the program, the women were asked if they would join the (supervisory) board. The result was very successful, and 5 women applied for supervisory board position!

Are you curious about the inspiring initiative from the Bremen energy community? Or to the other measures provided in this webinar, click here to watch the recording.

We have enjoyed the first webinar series! Thank you all for participating!

Are you also interested in the other webinars? You can watch them all back!

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, 10 am CET

N°5: How to empower women in the RHC sector: what concrete actions are available? – 21st September 2022, 10 am CET

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