Women’s participation in energy needed for a more inclusive sector

By empowering women as agents of change in clean energy, societies can unlock immense socio-economic benefits while safeguarding the planet for future generations

In a world grappling with multifaceted challenges ranging from socio-economic disparities to environmental crises, promoting gender equality emerges as not only a moral imperative but also a strategic necessity.

Gender equality stands as a pivotal measure in addressing the widening gap of inequality.

Moreover, the intricate nexus between gender equality and environmental sustainability underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts in this realm.

Women, often disproportionately affected by crises such as the ongoing climate emergency, are both vulnerable to its impacts and pivotal in crafting solutions.

Renewable energy, with its potential to reshape economies and mitigate environmental degradation, offers a promising avenue for advancing gender equality initiatives.

By investing in renewables and empowering women as active participants and leaders, societies can address poverty, inequality, and environmental challenges simultaneously.

This approach advocates for alternative economic models that prioritise sustainability and inclusivity, amplifying women’s voices and agency in decision-making processes.


In March, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launched the Gender Survey that offers data-driven strategies in supporting gender equality efforts.

By gathering comprehensive data, IRENA aims to assist countries and societies in fostering a just energy transition, envisioning a future where gender equality and environmental sustainability intersect to create a more resilient and prosperous world for all.

Despite the potential for women’s participation in the renewable energy sector, evidence suggests persistent underrepresentation.

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates a significant gender gap across the renewable energy value chain, with women comprising a mere fraction of the workforce compared to men.

Efforts to empower women in this sector are not only essential for gender equality but also hold vast socio-economic potential.

For instance, McKinsey Global Institute estimates that achieving gender parity in India’s economy could add trillions to its GDP by 2025, underscoring the economic imperatives of gender inclusivity.

Private sector engagement is pivotal in fostering gender-responsive workplaces and driving structural reforms.

By implementing inclusive hiring policies and conducting gender-related risk assessments, renewable energy companies can create environments conducive to women’s participation and advancement.

Moreover, strategic integration of gender equality into investment frameworks can enhance environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics, positioning companies for sustainable growth.

Government support is equally critical in enabling women’s participation in the renewable energy sector.

Initiatives such as the Women’s Empowerment Scheme in India offer skill development and training programs tailored to women’s needs.

Moreover, policies aimed at promoting women’s involvement, such as subsidies for solar installations led by women, demonstrate a commitment to fostering gender inclusivity in the energy industry.

Empowering women at all levels of the energy sector, from grassroots to leadership positions, is essential for driving meaningful change.


Investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and training for women are particularly crucial, given the technical nature of renewable energy jobs.

By equipping women with the necessary skills and opportunities, societies can bridge the gender diversity gap and ensure women’s active participation in shaping the future of clean energy.

However, challenges persist, including entrenched gender stereotypes and skilled labor shortages.

Efforts to address these challenges require multifaceted approaches, encompassing awareness-raising, policy interventions, and inclusive workplace practices.

The International Labour Organization’s Gender Diversity Initiative offers valuable indicators for measuring progress and guiding interventions to narrow the gender gap in energy employment.

By empowering women as agents of change in clean energy transitions, societies can unlock immense socio-economic benefits while safeguarding the planet for future generations.

Moreover, addressing gender disparities in the renewable energy sector requires a nuanced understanding of the systemic barriers that hinder women’s participation.

Cultural norms, discriminatory practices, and lack of access to education and resources are among the many obstacles that women face in pursuing careers in renewable energy.

Private sector initiatives play a crucial role in fostering gender diversity and inclusion within the renewable energy workforce.

By implementing policies and practices that promote equal opportunities for women, companies can tap into a diverse talent pool, driving innovation and productivity.

Furthermore, corporate leadership must prioritise gender equality as a core value, setting the tone for inclusive workplaces where women can thrive and contribute meaningfully.

Government policies and programmes are instrumental in creating an enabling environment for women’s participation in the renewable energy sector.

Moreover, mentorship and networking initiatives can provide women with valuable support and guidance as they navigate their careers in renewable energy.

By connecting women with mentors and peers, these programs foster a sense of community and create opportunities for skill-building and professional development.

In conclusion, promoting gender equality in the renewable energy sector is not only a matter of social justice but also a strategic imperative for achieving sustainable development goals.

By breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for women to participate fully in clean energy transitions, we can build a more inclusive and resilient energy future for all.

Through collaboration between governments, businesses, and civil society, we can harness the full potential of women’s talent and creativity to drive positive change in the renewable energy sector and beyond.

By Abdulaziz Khattak