Women in Power – Why women can make a huge difference in the Energy industry

Gender diversity is high on the agenda in the power generation, transmission and distribution industries. A serious minority, women comprise only 22% of the workforce, in comparison to 47% of the entire female working population in the USA, (reported by the Quadrennial Energy Review 2017). And the stats get worse when you look at the number of women in executive level jobs within utilities. Globally, only 25 women (5%) are in Board Executive positions across the top 200 utilities, a rise of only 1% over the past three years (Women in Power and Utilities index).

Why does it matter?

Energy is an evolving industry constantly trying to keep up with the continuously growing demand and supply of power to homes, schools, hospitals and workplaces. With so many challenges, there is a call for innovative approaches, which is why diversity is so important. There are many studies which evidence that the more diverse a group, the quicker and easier it’ll be to identify and solve problems. More diverse groups are better placed to not only tackle various challenges, but also create a competitive advantage by encouraging businesses to consider new methods and practices. 

Diversity isn’t just a gender issue; it’s a business-critical issue.

A boardroom of 10 men of a similar age and background and similar careers are also likely to think in a similar fashion. A diverse group of different genders, ages and backgrounds will change the status quo and increase the chance of thinking the unthinkable. 

Why would women want to work in the Energy sector?

The world will always need power, especially as the population grows, and as a result, the Energy sector offers people the chance for a lengthy and stable career.

Energy could also be considered as the backbone of the Technology industry; technology only works with power, whether that’s from a typical transformer or stored battery power. With the rise of electric cars there is even more opportunity for dynamic thinkers to find new ways to store larger amounts of electricity.

Innovation is one of the main challenges in this industry, and women could be the key to a new idea and different way of thinking. With technology constantly improving, it’s essential to consider newways of optimizing the infrastructure and monitoring the grid.

What job opportunities are available?

The industry is buoyant with opportunities for multiple skillsets; Project Mangers, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Technicians, Developers, Distribution Engineers and Project Coordinators to name a few. Because attracting women into this historically male-dominated sector has been a long standing challenge for many companies, many have diversity and inclusion agendas as part of their 2018 initiatives and are willing to provide training and support where necessary. Increasing numbers of women have started crossing the bridge from Technology companies into the Power and Utilities industry; this transition is welcomed and beneficial to both parties. Throughout 2018 and further, there will be more opportunities for men and women to join these ‘plant to plug’ operations.

Are you the key?

With around 60% of the power workforce teetering on the brink of retirement, there are plenty of opportunities for people with varying levels of experience to enter the market. If you have a STEM degree and want to make a change in the world, the Power industry could be the way forward.

Now is the time the industry needs the brightest minds and dynamic thinkers. Women are imperative to help diversify the power workforce and take the energy industry forward.

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