Celebrating #WomeninScience: With unprecedented industry growth comes greater responsibility

 

The 11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by UN Women to raise awareness on the systematic underrepresentation of women as users and leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Women in Wind reflects on the urgency to accelerate progress towards gender diversity to support the wind industry’s continued growth.

Today, Women in Wind joins the global community in celebrating #WomeninScience, under the slogan “the world needs science, and science needs women and girls.” 

Following another record growth year for wind power in 2020, the wind industry has demonstrated its potential to support green jobs creation across its value chain, including a wide range of exciting career opportunities for STEM professionals.

International agencies estimate that direct and indirect jobs in wind energy will more than triple from 1.2 million in 2018 to nearly 4 million globally by 2030 if deployment takes place at the necessary rate, including jobs in STEM fields. To meet the challenge ahead, the wind industry must apply a diversity and inclusion lens to workforce recruitment, in order to attract the best-available talent that can unlock innovation and drive industry growth.

However, data shows that the wind sector is lagging behind other renewable energy sectors when it comes to gender representation across various occupations, including STEM professions. 

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Last year, Women in Wind and the International Renewable Energy (IRENA) jointly released the first-of-its-kind study on gender representation across the wind industry. The Wind Energy: A Gender Perspective report shows that women make up only 21% of the wind energy workforce, which is below the 32% average in the wider renewables industry, according to a 2019 study by IRENA. 

At 14%, women’s representation in jobs requiring STEM knowledge in the wind sector is substantially lower than than the 28% share of women in the STEM workforce for the wider renewable energy sector.

This comes despite the fact that in the wind industry, STEM professionals make up 27% of the total workforce required for a typical 50 MW onshore wind project, and 22% of the workforce required for the construction of a typical 500 MW offshore wind project

In view of the wide range of employment opportunities opened up by wind power’s record growth in 2020, Women in Wind released a guide on Best Practices for Gender Diversity in Talent Recruitment, a free resource to support companies in their efforts to attract top talent and skills, with the end-goal of building a dynamic and inclusive workforce that can drive the global energy transition.

Encouraging younger women to explore career opportunities in STEM fields within the wind industry, implementing gender diversity policies, and creating flexible and positive work environments for women professionals are crucial to ensure the sustained long-term growth and success of the wind sector. 

Find out more about Women in Wind’s continued efforts to accelerate gender diversity in the wind industry here.

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