“Women in Clean Energy” initiative gets backing from governments and industry


Ministers from C3E TCP lead countries Canada, Italy and Sweden joined IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol and high level officials and executives for the event "Women in Energy" in Paris (Photo: Andrew Wheeler, IEA)

The governments of Sweden, Italy, Canada, as well as the International Energy Agency, are seeking to promote greater participation for women in the clean energy field, an initiative that is receiving a wide backing from other governments and industry.

Ministers from IEA member countries and industry executives met in Paris to support the “Women in Clean Energy” (C3E) international initiative, which aims to inspire more women to enter into careers in the clean energy field, equip them for success, prepare them for opportunities, and evaluate barriers to entry.

The event was held ahead of the IEA 2017 Ministerial Meeting and sought to raise awareness among public and private decision-makers about the need to promote women’s leadership and participation in the energy sector. 

The Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative was launched in 2010 at the first meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to encourage women to pursue careers in the energy field, recognise their accomplishments and generally promote their leadership. It now serves as an international platform to promote greater diversity and encourage more women to pursue careers in the energy field. 

In 2017, the C3E Initiative was restructured as an IEA Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP), following approval by the IEA Governing Board. This effort was led by Canada, Italy and Sweden and launched at the 2017 CEM8 meeting in Beijing in June. Other countries are in the process of joining the initiative, or are considering doing so.

The C3E TCP will collect information on women’s participation in the clean energy sector workforce, in order to help identify needs in the sector and methods to attract and retain talent. This can help countries share best practices and develop or enhance national programmes of action.

“The IEA is committed to helping women pursue careers in the clean energy sector, and understands the added value of promoting them to leadership positions,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director. “Through our support for the CEM and the C3E, we hope this initiative will bring better gender diversity to the workforce, and help governments and industry realise the potential of aspiring candidates to these positions.”

The speakers at the event included:

  • Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Sweden
  • Jim Carr and Christyne Tremblay, Minister and Deputy-Minister for Natural Resources, Canada
  • Alessandro Busacca, Ambassador to OECD, Italy
  • Marie-Christine Marghem, Minister for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Belgium
  • Kazuyaki Nakane, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
  • Anita Perry, Health, Women and Economic Development Advocate; Former First Lady of Texas
  • Magnus Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Vattenfall
  • Annika Viklund,Senior Vice President, Vattenfall Distribution
  • Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA