More women in the energy sector

The transition to a clean energy future can only succeed if diverse talent and potential are harnessed to develop and implement new ideas and innovative solutions for a low-carbon economy. On average, only 25% of those working in the global energy industry are women. In Austria, the proportion of women employed in this sector stands at 18% overall and a mere 7% in the case of leadership positions. Women are also under-represented in the energy research programmes, with only 14% of projects having a female lead. There is an urgent need to motivate women to gain qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to provide targeted support to their career opportunities in the energy industry. The IEA’s technology collaboration programme Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E TCP) is looking at strategies, policies and measures to increase the support of women in the energy sector and specifically in energy research. This international partnership is geared towards compiling best practices and showcasing role models for women in leadership positions and is supporting the creation of networks and activities designed to raise awareness. Austria has been a member of the C3E TCP since 2018.

DI Mag. Gudrun Senk, Foto: Wien Energie
Gudrun Senk, Photo: Wien Energie

„Preconceptions of role models are consolidated at an early age and are hard to break down later on. The energy technology sector, in particular, is still male-dominated. Wien Energie is creating tangible incentives such as our trainee programme and specific measures designed to encourage women in order to inspire them to find out more about this kind of work, even from an early age. Wien Energie has already laid the groundwork at management level, and the measures we have implemented have already begun to bear fruit: nearly 40% of our divisions are now led by women. After all, being innovative requires specialist expertise and diversity amongst your staff!“
Gudrun Senk
Authorised Representative, Head of Asset Development, Implementation & Management and Research, Wien Energie GmbH

National Project
National research funding programme: TALENTS

The BMK has pursued various measures to support women in technical and scientific lines of work for many years now. The “Talents” programme and the “FEMtech Initiative” offer support relating to equal opportunities and aim to put women on an equal footing with men in research work. Amongst other things, these programmes fund internships for schoolgirls and female students and support organisations looking to employ, encourage and retain women in technical and scientific roles. With these initiatives, the BMK is helping to create an attractive environment for female researchers and support talented and innovative women from Austria.