Gender equality, diversity and empowerment of women in the energy sector. Funded by Nordic Energy Research.
The Paris Agreement and the 2018 IPCC report calls for ambitious global efforts in order to combat global warming and climate change. The energy issue is the most crucial part of these efforts – carbon emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels must be reduced and replaced with green innovations and technology.
The Nordic region has favourable conditions for accelerating the sustainable energy transition. Small countries with solid economies and high innovation levels may in many ways take the lead towards green energy. The Nordic is also known as a region of equality and diversity, values that are important to bring into the sustainable energy transition. However, as the energy issue is often addressed within technology or economy frameworks, important perspectives might get lost within these traditionally male dominated areas.
Nordic Energy Equality Network (NEEN) was founded because we believe that the sustainable energy transition is far too important to only be decided upon by a narrow section of society within the economy and technology field. It is also an issue too vital to not include perspectives from all of society. It is a question of who is included, about mindsets, structures and cultures. To ensure the transition towards a sustainable future, we believe that all perspectives must be included throughout this process. NEEN was founded to bring different voices together, to ensure gender equality and diversity in developing the energy of tomorrow. Diversity brings creativity, and creativity is a much-needed component in the energy sector at this defining moment.
The founding of NEEN
The first steps towards the founding of NEEN were taken in 2017 at the Women in the energy race seminar in Stockholm. Supported by Nordic Energy Research, people from the Nordic energy sector gathered to identify challenges, present solutions to accelerate change and reduce the gender gap in the energy sector and ensure that women’s knowledge and experience will be efficiently used in the future. The idea of a network for women in the Nordic energy sector was hatched.
The group met again in Copenhagen in 2018 to continue their discussion on action plans and share experiences and best practices when working for gender diversity in the energy sector. The seminar resulted in a “task force”, consisting of key members from the network working across the Nordic energy sector, as well as representatives from Nordic Energy Research.
The task force got together in Oslo 2019 to define the mission of NEEN, setup the organisational structure and plan for future activities. At this point, NEEN was finally officially founded.
NEEN will strive to make the energy sector increasingly visible to women and highlighting role models in order to attract more women to this sector. NEEN will build bridges between education, research, government and industry and promote an inclusive approach through the whole sector.
Gender equality in the Nordic energy sector report
In 2021, NEEN and EY collaborated to publish the first report on gender equality in the Nordic energy sector. The report provides an overall picture of the status of gender equality in the Nordic energy sector with insights from energy companies, research and authorities. The purpose is to highlight this topic and stimulate further discussions for a positive impact. Read the full report here.