Supporting women’s jobs in clean energy sector

A new report highlights how women are still severely under-represented in the African clean energy sector.

Insights from over 150 professionals across sub-Saharan Africa are included in ‘Empowering Women in Clean Energy: Advancing and Retaining an Equitable Workforce’.

The report investigates the causes of gender inequity in the traditionally male-dominated industry, and features the sector’s first pay equity analysis, revealing the positive but unequal impact of job training and placement programs on salaries.

It builds on a 2023 publication, which focused on the talent pipeline and recruitment barriers for women entering clean energy jobs, and the workplace challenges that limit women’s advancement and retention once they have entered the sector.

Women remain severely under-represented across levels of management, and previous research shows only a quarter hold leadership and manager roles at renewable energy companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

This report, commissioned by Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and Shortlist Futures, presents recommendations for better outcomes, including structured training, mentorship and coaching programs, transparent pathways to promotion, flexible maternity leave policies and access to female role models.

“As investments in climate and clean energy grow in Africa, we need to pay serious attention to female labor force participation in green jobs,” said Ciara Remerscheid, report author and Director of Shortlist Futures. “This report provides a blueprint for clean energy companies to harness the talent of women throughout their organizations.”

The reports were funded by GEAPP as part of the “Women for Green Jobs” (W4GJ) program implemented by Shortlist with support from Value for Women.

W4GJ’s aim is to help more women access and succeed in clean energy careers in Africa, specifically targeting job placements, career support and employer-level interventions across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda. This program works with over 40 clean energy companies, including Husk Power, Nuru, and Sun King, to support growth by addressing equitable hiring challenges.

“Women experience the greatest repercussions of climate change, which amplifies existing gender inequalities. A powerful transformation is underway in the African clean energy sector, as companies are making explicit efforts to hire and retain women at every level,” said Makena Ireri, Director of Demand Jobs and Livelihoods at GEAPP.

“As we work to further an equitable green energy transition, we see an unprecedented opportunity to drive greater job and economic opportunities for women, youth and low-income communities.”

“While the W4GJ program increased incomes for female candidates in absolute terms, we found that when compared to male peers in the sectors, hourly earnings for men accelerated at a faster pace than women, particularly after the program intervention.“

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