Energy regulators, through their global federation – the International Confederation of Energy Regulators - are showing leadership on the issue of gender diversity.
ICER’s Women in Energy (ICER WIE) initiative aims to help women in energy progress faster and further in their careers.
Our vision is for women to have equal opportunities, be empowered and have the self-confidence to succeed.
As a first step, ICER created a collaborative network for the benefit of women. Women in Energy- the ICER International Network is a growing network where hundreds of women, from Greece to Ghana, share professional experiences. Membership is open to the staff (men and women) of ICER’s energy national regulatory authorities.
ICER WIE also set itself the grander task of changing attitudes to women. With women vastly under-represented in energy and fewer still making it to the top, something needed to be done to unlock the full potential of the women within our ranks. Embracing the WIE vision, ICER’s leadership (which is predominately male) recognises the need to develop the full talent pool – men and women alike.
Attracting, retaining and encouraging women to reach their full potential is not only good for women, it is good for our authorities and good for the energy sector. Our focus is on helping women at all levels within our NRAs reach their professional ambitions through practical tools:
- a collaborative network for the benefit of women
- peer-to-peer mentoring
- training webinars
- networking opportunities
- Women in Energy story-telling
Over the course of a 12-month mentoring programme, female mentees are paired with (male and female) mentors from around the globe. 130 people have participated in our mentoring programme which challenges mentees (and indeed mentors) to be goal-oriented and to stretch themselves professionally.
Having visible female role models is also important so as to encourage more women to moveinto senior positions. This is why ICER WIE has a 20 percent female speaker target for our main events. At the World Forum on Energy Regulation in Istanbul in May, women accounted for 26 percent of the Forum speakers and ICER WIE held its first all-female speaker debate.
Helping women’s career advancement is important principally because men and women should have equal opportunities, but also because of the necessity to maximize scarce resources. Change is happening. ICER’s WIE initiative already shows that through simple action, we can make a big difference to developing the female talent pool.
ICER’s Women in Energy Stories illustrate concretely how our global community of energy regulators is already helping women in their careers. Due to repeated requests, our story telling is now open to all women in the energy sector both within and beyond energy regulatory authorities. If you are a woman in the energy sector with an inspiring story to share, September 7 is the deadline for WIE stories for the next edition of ICER Chronicle.
Una Shortall is chair of the Women in Energy initiative of the International Confederation of Energy Regulators which represents more than 200 energy national regulatory authorities.