Women Agents of Change in Energy Transition Era

Women Agents of Change in Energy Transition Era

The entire energy industry is on a journey of change, switching towards clean energy in hopes of curbing the severe impacts of climate change. The global drive for energy transition has revived hopes for creating more opportunities for women, leaving no one behind. In the meantime, there is still a gender gap in the energy sector’s workforce, a matter that requires more effort to narrow the gap.

From an economic perspective, closing such a gender gap is part and parcel of economic development, casting a positive shadow over the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to official figures, the number of people employed in the sector will grow by more than 30 million over the next 30 years thanks to the energy transition. Consequently, women are to benefit from new job opportunities and find new sources of income. It is also worth mentioning that access to clean energy is to help improve the quality of women’s lives in numerous ways.

In 2022, the World Bank conducted an assessment study dubbed “Toward More and Better Jobs for Women in Energy”, revealing that in many MENA countries, women represent less than 10% of the energy workforce and an average of 5% in technical fields or management.

In the meantime, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pointed out that the exclusion of women comes at a cost to the overall economy. The IMF also highlighted the great economic potential of handling gender gaps, a matter that may add up to over 20% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product. numerous studies stressed that companies with gender-diverse boards are more productive and more profitable.

It is estimated that the global energy market will grow 44% by 2050 and the recent World Bank study showed that from the lowest to highest scenarios, the impact will be creating 1.4 to 3.8 million net jobs in Egypt alone over the period of 2020-2050.

In this context, equality in the energy workforce and energy transition should be harnessed in parallel within a holistic, broader approach to give an extra boost to economic performance.

Egypt has been making strides in empowering women in the energy domain. In previous statements, Minister Tarek El Molla pointed out that women empowerment is part and parcel of Egypt Vision 2030, stressing the ministry’s adherence to this vision.

According to Minister El Molla, Women currently represent 30% of the total number of the ministry’s employees, and more than 33% of them are in leading positions.

He added that the ministry has established a communication unit to achieve equality in cooperation with the National Council for Women. This unit provides the necessary mechanisms and policies to guarantee social and economic rights as well.

In further efforts, Egypt launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” in July 2020, and the National Council for Women (NCW) was chosen as the national coordinator for the project. This project is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, resulting in the public-private collaboration model supported by the World Economic Forum.

Generally speaking, the accelerator aims at economically empowering women through four main aspects, namely to close gender gaps in remuneration between and within sectors, to prepare women for the post-COVID-19 world of work, to advance more women into management and leadership positions and to enable women’s participation in the labor force.


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