Dialogue on gender equity challenges and opportunities across the power sector in India
The energy sector remains one of the most gender imbalanced sectors. The participation of woman in power sector is highly skewed. Gender equity still holds a greater challenge in the power sector, which partly be attributed to the social and perception barriers about dominance of field-based activities, geographical mobility and shift-based working, which all have been traditionally considered negative factors for women’s participation.
During the 2nd International Conference on “Large-Scale Renewable Energy in India” the regional chapter called “South Asian Women in Energy (SAWIE)” a forum, supported under USAID Greening the Grid (GTG) Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (RISE) initiative, was launched by Edgard Kagan, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy New Delhi. In this regard, a special session for “Dialogue on gender equity challenges and opportunities across the power sector” was organized which was attended by energy experts to engage and ideate on the crucial pertinent issues and solutions to promote gender equity and equality in the sector.
Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy New Delhi
“USAID is committed to maximize women’s participation and to strengthen gender diversity and equity in the energy sector and today we feel proud to launch the regional chapter called “South Asian Women in Energy (SAWIE)” from this platform.”
Board Chair, Signify Foundation (Philips Lighting Foundation)
“Three key areas for women equality at workplace are enabling infrastructure, financial empowerment & women in position of influence.”
Dr. Ashu Verma
Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi
“It’s not one institution, one organisation but need to bring in societal to promote higher women workforce participation.”
The panel also stressed the need for ensuring representation of women at decision making/leadership positions across energy ecosystem, so that these gender equality champions from diverse verticals of energy sector and ages aim at re-enforcing their voice, networks and advocate to make commitments towards gender empowerment across the business value chain.
Dr Kathleen O’Dell
Principal, Deloitte Consultant LLP
“Major issues in women participation are at recruitment, retention & advancement stage. Companies need to level playing field rather than retaining conventional approach.”
This dialogue was committed to further USAID’s commitment of having a more balanced access to opportunities to strengthen women participation across all spheres of the spectrum. The panel agreed upon identifying the collaborative efforts required across power utilities, regulatory commissions, system operators and education & research institutions for a holistic development of the energy sector.