Saturday, July 13, 2024

Australia to come clean on gender equality in energy sector

Australia has formalised its commitment to gender equality in the clean energy transition by signing up to the equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunity objectives of the global Equal by 30 campaign.

An initiative of the international Clean Energy Ministerial forum and the International Energy Agency, Equal by 30 has seen 180 signatories worldwide, including all G7 countries and public and private sector organisations, commit to gender equity across the clean energy sector by 2030.

In signing up to the multilateral initiative following wide consultation, the Albanese Government is working to close the gender gap across the Australian clean energy sector including by:

  • Creating an Australian Women in Energy Roundtable for industry to promote and share equality initiatives and policies which accelerate the participation of women in clean energy.
  • Working across government agencies to build a Women in Energy Resources Hub. The Hub will include sample guidelines and procedures, providing small-medium enterprises with information on actions for gender equality within their workforce.
  • Expanding engagement across domestic and international forums within the energy sector by championing diversity and gender equality.
  • Driving practical actions towards equality-based policies within industry by sharing the Australia Public Service’s experience with flexible workplace arrangements and other efforts aimed at achieving the gender balance and closing the gender pay gap.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen said Equal by 30’s commitments would help Australia reach its legislated emissions reduction targets.

“Energy jobs are decent, secure jobs that should be accessible to all Australians, including women,” said Mr Bowen.

“There is an urgent need for gender responsive policies in Australia and around the world to support women in roles across the clean energy sector.

“Harnessing all available talent and advancing the participation of women in the clean energy transition is key to transforming the global energy sector and to achieving Australia’s 43% emissions reductions target by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

“Empowering women and promoting gender equality through equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities will help overcome the current barriers to participation.”

Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister said the campaign would help address women’s low participation rates.

“Women make up less than 39% of the clean energy sector workforce, with the number even lower in leadership positions,” she said.

“Equal by 30 asks organisations, companies and governments to endorse principles and then take concrete action to accelerate the participation of women in the sector. 

“Signing up is an important step to addressing inequity and will encourage more women to become actively involved in and lead Australia’s energy transformation.”

Equal by 30 is led by Canada and is one of five work streams under the Equality in Energy Transitions Initiative, a joint initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial and the International Energy Agency. 

Dedicated to achieving a low-carbon global economy by advancing women’s participation in the clean energy sector, the Initiative’s member countries also include Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, Chile, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the USA and the UK.

Latest Articles