• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

New report advocates women advancement, retention in Africa’s clean energy sector

New report advocates women advancement, retention in Africa’s clean energy sector

Worried by the poor representation of women in leadership positions in Africa’s clean energy sector, a new report by Shortlist, a talent advisory firm and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), have advocated for the advancement and retention of women in the workforce.

The report titled ‘Empowering Women in Clean Energy: Advancing and Retaining an Equitable Workforce’ released new data on the experiences of women in the clean energy sector.

The data, collected from over 150 professionals across sub-Saharan Africa, provides insights into the causes of gender inequity in the male-dominated industry.

The report, which evaluated the clean energy sector’s first pay equity, revealed that there are unequal job training and placement programmes on salaries in the industry.

It also investigated the talent pipeline and recruitment barriers for women entering clean energy jobs and focused on workplace challenges that limit women’s advancement and retention of women in the workforce.

Speaking at the official launch of the report in Lagos on Friday, Ciara Remerscheid, director of Shortlist Futures, and author of the report, said there is a need to pay serious attention to female labour force who are participating in green jobs, especially at this time when investment in climate and clean energy is growing in Africa,.

According to Remerscheid, the report provides a blueprint for clean energy companies to harness the talent of women throughout their organisations.

She said that women remain severely under-represented across levels of management role in clean energy companies, adding that previous research shows that women hold only a quarter of leadership and manager roles at renewable energy companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Empowering Women in Clean Energy synthesises insights from women in the field and presents recommendations for better outcomes, including structured training, mentorship and coaching programmes, transparent pathways to promotion, flexible maternity leave policies and access to female role models,” she said.

Also speaking, Makena Ireri, director of Demand Jobs and Livelihoods at GEAPP, said women experience the greatest repercussions of climate change, which amplifies existing gender inequalities.

Ireri said 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.

“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,” she said.

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

The aim of Women for Green Jobs 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 programme works with over 40 clean energy companies, including Husk Power, Nuru, Sistema.bio and Sun King to address equitable hiring challenges.

The report features a gender pay equity analysis of clean energy professionals who have been placed in the W4GJ programme over the past five years.

It reveals that third-party training and placement programmes such as W4GJ play a crucial role in boosting compensation parity between male and female employees. While the W4GJ programme increased incomes for female candidates in absolute terms, when compared to male peers in the sectors, hourly earnings for men accelerated at a faster pace than women, particularly after the programme intervention.