Why is closing the gender gap in clean energy fields so critical? How can you be part of the action to bring more gender diverse thoughts, talents, and leadership to clean energy innovation? What does the C3E International Initiative do and who is part of it? On 15 July 2020 C3E International organized a series of webinars to answer these questions and more.
The Eastern Webinar featured Her Excellency Joyce Banda, educator, women’s rights activist, and the former President of Malawi, Africa. You can access the webinar recording for the eastern webinar under the following link: https://app.box.com/s/pnjrxlrztkdjopitkad4fzbl4rkhuddg
The Western Webinar featured Marta Gajecka, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland Country Manager, and a board member of EDP Energia Polska. You can access the webinar recording for the western webinar under the following link: https://app.box.com/s/0iszxbmj0xt0msdmiqwclfnwir25c80n
In addition to the powerful inspiration from the keynote speakers and featured Ambassadors, attendees were also offered invaluable support following the webinar with a free resume review from the C3E International support staff.
On the Eastern Webinar, Her Excellency Joyce Banda said women absolutely must be part of the clean energy future. “After all, clean energy is good for both planet and people,” she said. Banda has heard stories from some of the 6 million people in Africa who live without electricity, like the mother who gave birth in the dark not knowing the umbilical cord was suffocating her newborn and resulted in its death.
“In the western world, giving birth is a joy but in Africa it’s a scary time,” Banda said. “Africa is energy rich – the natural gas reserves are among the largest and it is attracting gains in renewable energy. After all, technology is changing. Innovation is impressive and the power to light up African nations is there. We must scale up.”
Also speaking on the Eastern Webinar were C3E Ambassadors Fang Xiaoju, Director of PR and Branding, Envision Energy, Danielle Merfeld, Chief Technology Officer at GE Renewables, and Bai Yu, Associate Professor, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Division, Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
On the Western Webinar, Maria Gajecka, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland, said that she believes people develop during a crisis, and she encourages all to look at the COVID-19 recovery as an opportunity to encourage gender-diverse clean energy transitions.
“I think that energy efficiency is a no brainer. It’s obvious,” Gajecka said. “Coronavirus has changed the way we communicate, and the energy demands for home offices – none of our work could take place without electricity. It will accelerate and help make the energy transition something real and something faster.”
Loreto Rivera Torterogelio, Stakeholders Manager, RWE Renewables, Chile, Danielle Merfeld, Chief Technology Officer at GE, and Annette Hollas, Chair of the C3E International Initiative all spoke on the Western Webinar as well.
“Now that I’m here, the first thing I want to do is bring more women into the bigger ecosystem of STEM,” said Merfeld. “Renewable energy is already getting better at incorporating more women – but we still have work to do. We need to do that as soon as possible.”
The C3E International Ambassadors are ready to speak publically, loudly and frequently, about the benefit and the urgent need to engaging more women in the clean energy sector. “No matter what your expertise and talents are, you have a role in the clean energy sector,” said Hollas.