March 1, 2021

Equalitech 2021 – Inspiring the young generation

Inspired by the themes of diversity and inclusion in the technical fields, Equalitech aims to encourage more young women to pursue studies and a career in tech. NEEN hosted an inspirational session at the event to give a glimpse into the careers of women in the Nordic Energy Sector.

Equalitech brings together real-life examples through career stories, inspirational speakers, and group discussions to encourage high school students, mainly young women, to consider studies in technical field. NEEN hosted one of the discussion sessions where our representatives shared their exciting career journeys with 15 high school students.

Participants’ discussion at Equalitech 2021.

A typical day at work

“How does a typical day look like at work?” asked one of the young girls.

Claire Bergaentzlé, Assistant Professor at Technical University of Denmark, shared her insights on the enriching process of brainstorming new ideas and proposals for funding of new research. “You develop your own ideas and find out exciting possibilities!”, highlighted Claire. Karina Barnholt Klepper, Senior researcher at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, shared her experience from her previous job at Nordic Energy Research, which involved looking at proposals and deciding which ideas would receive the funding – “You are a part of the transition and the future”.

Overall, the women agreed that they have a variety of tasks and therefore their days could look quite different depending on the focus for the day.

What is your dream job?

The students shared their dream jobs, and we were pleased to hear that all the students would like to choose a path related to sustainable development. Whatever you develop in the future will have an impact on the climate and environment, and we will have no choice but to incorporate sustainability elements into our work.

A few students expressed broad interest in sustainability but were unsure of the path ahead.  Petra Berg, Researcher at University of Vaasa, shared her exciting career journey and how her master thesis in sustainable tourism eventually led her into the energy industry – “Follow your passion!” was the message from Petra. 

Diversity and inclusion are the keys for sustainable transition

Finding solutions to the energy transitions requires cross-cutting approaches and ideas. One of the key messages from the discussion was that the fight against climate change involves all of us coming together – engineers, social scientists, policy makers, and the society. Diversity in terms of profession, gender, cultures and experiences would play a crucial role in innovation for sustainable development. And when it comes to us working in teams, it is important for us to develop our communication skills. “Regardless of which stream you choose, make sure to develop your presentation skills, leadership and team work capabilities!”, commented Aditi Bhasin, Project Manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

This event was a part of NEEN’s purpose of making the energy sector increasingly visible to women and highlighting role models. Equalitech is organised by Vaasa Entrepreneurship Society. To find out more about the event, visit here.