The EU4Energy Programme has launched its blog on ‘Women in Energy’ to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of women working in the energy sector. The blog also aims to encourage young women to choose a profession in the energy/power sector and discover the advantages associated with it.
As the blog’s first special guest EU4Energy has invited Tamar Sulukhia, Director of International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) and ISET Policy Institute. Dr. Sulukhia shares the results of a special gender study, developed by the ISET Policy Institute. According to the Gender Equality Index for the twelve Post Soviet Union countries (excepting Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan), women only account for 22% of the workforce in the energy sector, while 48% of the global workforce are women. Only 6% of women are executive board members and less than 1% of women are CEOs in the oil and gas industries.
An imbalance between the share of men and women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions, is depriving science and technology of a greater opportunity for innovation, the Gender Equality Index shows.
“There is evidence that when teams are gender balanced, those teams are more creative and achieve higher/better results or achieve those results in a more efficient and timely manner. Energy sector utilities having at least 30% of women in the boards have higher profit margins,” says Tamar Sulukhia.
Dr. Sulukhia says that the attraction and recruitment of women to the energy sector could be done by changing social norms, encouraging role-models, whereas for the retention of women in the sector it is very important to create female friendly, harassment free environment/facilities, equal pay policy and to retain a healthy work-life balance.
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