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Ed’s note: It’s not a Man’s, Man’s Energy World

On Monday it was International Women’s Day ” I hope you knew that anyway. Better still, I hope you did something to mark the occasion.

My colleague Areti Ntaradimou, who is the new editor of PEi’s sister title Smart Energy International (welcome to the hot seat by the way Areti), noted that we should “aim towards a world where we celebrate women and men equally on a daily basis”.

And indeed we should ” wouldn’t argue with a word of that.

Have you read?
Women engineers turn gender tide on dam project
Women In STEM: Smashing the glass ceiling

But we are not in that world right now, so International Women’s Day plays a vital role. Not least because currently only 2.9% of ICT companies worldwide have a female chief executive, and the figure is at an all-time low in the oil and gas sector. And you’d need the biggest sledgehammer available to crack the glass ceiling in construction.

The power and utilities sector fares (a bit) better than these industries, but there’s still a mountain to climb. A key problem is one of perception: that energy and engineering both fit firmly in the orbit of a man’s world. Yes, it has been. But certainly, no reason why it has to continue to be.

And as the boundaries of the energy sector blur into other industries, the new opportunities are vast.

“Don’t buy into the idea that it’s a boys’ club ” this is one of the most exciting, forward-thinking industries of today and of the future” says Penny Fox from the UK government’s Depart of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Isabelle Gilks from Wood Mackenzie advises to not be “put off if you don’t have a science, technology or engineering background – there are career paths for everybody.”

Vivienne Inmonger from RES says: “Highlight your transferable skills – skills that you have picked up in other sectors will be just as useful in the energy sector.” As an example, Natalie Boahene from Statkraft comes from an economics background yet she found “that my experience whilst studying at university still has been really relevant in the industry”.

PEi is a long-time supporter of the drive for more women in energy and engineering, and you’ll find our latest article on the subject here.

And if you want to lend your voice to the discussion with an article, do please get in touch with my colleague Pamela Largue.

Until next time,

Kelvin Ross
Kelvin Ross is Editor-in-Chief of Enlit Europe and Power Engineering International. A journalist for more than 30 years, he has worked on regional, national and international newspapers, as well as trade magazines serving sectors including insurance, shipping, health and financial markets. He has covered the energy sector for more than 10 years. He helped establish Energy Live News in the UK before joining PEi and he has been ranked among the top 100 global influencers on Twitter for 'renewable energy' and 'smart grid' topics.