Despite making up 39% of global labour force – women only account for 22% of the traditional energy sector. For management levels the numbers are even lower. The barriers women face in the energy sector are similar to those they face elsewhere in the economy. However, the challenges of the energy sector are more pressing since the sector is going through a process of transformation; clean energy transitions will require innovative solutions and business models to be adopted and greater participation from a diverse talent pool.
At the IEA Ministerial 2019, Ministers from IEA countries endorsed IEA efforts to build up and share knowledge related to equal opportunities for people of all genders and backgrounds in the energy sector. Find out more about our programmes and initiatives, as well as IEA countries’ concrete actions to support gender equality in the energy sector below.
The energy sector is male-dominated and women earn lower wages than men
This report draws upon matched employer-employee data collected as part of the OECD LinkEED project. Bringing together employer and employee data in a single framework allows for the analysis of the role of the firm in determining workers' wages, as well as the role of worker characteristics such as skills and gender for firm-level outcomes.
Detailed data on gender gaps in the energy sector in employment and wages, senior management, entrepreneurship and innovation
The barriers women face in the energy sector are similar to those they face elsewhere in the economy. However, there is an urgency for countries to attract and retain a diverse workforce in the energy sector to ensure innovation and the inclusive perspectives needed to successfully navigate the low‑carbon energy transition. The transformation of the sector towards sustainable clean energy sources provides a golden opportunity for greater gender diversity.
Understanding Gender Gaps in Wages, Employment and Career Trajectories in the Energy Sector
Women in senior management roles at energy firms remains stubbornly low, but efforts to improve gender diversity are moving apace
Gender diversity in energy: what we know and what we don’t know
Seven Women Entrepreneurs of Solar Energy
Addressing the diversity challenge in energy sector recruitment
Women working in the rooftop solar sector
A look at India’s transition to clean energy
Tracking gender and the clean energy transition
Tracking and understanding the role of gender in the clean energy transition including the relationship between gender and energy consumption
Gender diversity in energy sector is critical to clean energy transition
Since 2021, all IEA in-depth reviews have included a section on gender policies in the questionnaire sent to countries at the start of the review process. In 2022, there has been dedicated text or chapters on gender diversity in country reviews on Canada, Poland, Hungary, and Italy (forthcoming) as well as the Africa Energy Outlook, World Energy Employment Report, CEM-EPI report on Skills Development and Inclusivity for Clean Energy Transitions, and Coal Net-Zero Emissions Report (forthcoming). The IEA in-depth reviews also strive to ensure a gender balanced composition of the peer review teams.
At the IEA Ministerial 2019, Ministers from IEA countries endorsed IEA efforts to build up and share knowledge related to equal opportunities for women and men in the energy sector.
The aim of the initiative is to elevate the IEA’s work on collecting knowledge and data related to gender, to develop policy recommendations to assist governments in their ambitions to improve gender-diversity in the energy sector. That includes collecting disaggregated gender and energy data related to areas such as employment, management, innovation, and financing to track progress and release periodic updates to decision-makers and developing policy recommendations for governments and industry.
The Equality in Energy Transitions Initiative (formerly known as C3E International) was created in 2010 as an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to accelerate gender equality and diversity in clean in clean energy transitions. In 2017, a decision was taken to organize the Equality Initiative‘s activities as an IEA Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP). This provides a strong foundation to the work and provides additional visibility to the Equality Initiative‘s work globally. As a TCP, the Equality Initiative joins a network of 6 000 experts participating in the Energy Technology Network (ETN), which engages in energy research and development, and can assist with the development of best practice sharing to support the goals of the program.