US Deputy Secretary of Energy calls for more young people and women in green industry

US Deputy Secretary of Energy, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, has urged the energy industry to attract more young people and more women into the sector to help tackle climate change.

She made the comments at a roundtable discussion on ‘The importance of women in energy’, held by UK-based NGO Energy Institute and POWERful Women, a group that aims to get more women into the energy sector.

In her keynote speech, Sherwood-Randall, said: “If we are going to meet our global climate and energy challenges, and develop and deploy the clean energy technologies that will power the world of tomorrow, we need to inspire more young people and more women to get involved in this dynamic field – in both the public and private sectors.”

The numbers of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers are significantly lower across the globe, according to PfW. Expanding the talent pool is critical to the energy sector, the organisation said in a statement.

A report published by PfW earlier this year stated that there needed to be “a stronger, more determined focus from CEOs in taking the lead in maintaining a better balanced workforce”. More women should be encouraged to take up careers in energy at all levels, the organisation added.

Energy Institute chief executive Louise Kingham said: “As part of its promotion of better balanced workplaces in the energy industry, the Energy Institute is pleased to welcome the US Deputy Energy Secretary to this important discussion.

“As the host and the secretariat for the POWERful Women initiative, we hope to share good practice between the UK and the US around STEM-based career development, mentoring, and the leadership needed to drive a culture change in our industry for the benefit of all.”

During the roundtable discussion, participants shared best practice to encourage women at all levels to engage with STEM subjects and join the STEM workforce. This meeting also marked a commitment to continuing an international dialogue among POWERful Women and the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Program.

This event highlighted some of the major challenges women face and what is being done to cultivate a climate that can better promote opportunities for women and others who have been traditionally underrepresented in the energy sector.

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