The hallmark of the 2013 Women in Clean Energy Symposium was the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) awards ceremony, recognizing six women for their leadership and mentorship in clean energy fields. C3E award recipients (left to right): Kristen Graf, Kirstin Gunderson, Milo Werner, Rebecca Stanfield, Maxine Savitz (C3E 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient), Erica Mackie. Not pictured: Katherine Lucey. | Photo by Justin Knight.

A scene from a "speed networking" session held at the symposium. Fostering a sense of community for women in the clean energy sector is a key focus of C3E. | Photo by Matty Greene.

Setting up for the annual poster competition highlighting climate change-related research led by female graduate students from across the country. | Photo courtesy of the MIT Energy Initiative.

MIT's Carolyn Jenkins, shown here with the Energy Department's Bob Marley, was the winner of the C3E graduate student poster competition for her research on the East Boston Buffer as a transferable urban framework for adapting to sea rise. | Photo courtesy of the MIT Energy Initiative.

Energy Technology and Innovation panelists discussed ways to move game-changing energy technology from the lab to the marketplace. From left: Renata Mele of the Enel Foundation; Alla Weinstein of Principle Power, Inc.; Marilyn Brown from the Georgia Institute of Technology; Cheryl Martin of ARPA-E; and MIT Energy Initiative Director Robert Armstrong (moderator). | Photo by Justin Knight.

Priyanka Chatterjee, a junior studying Mechanical & Ocean Engineering, speaks about Solar "Float"ovoltaics during the undergraduate lightning presentation session. | Photo by Justin Knight.

Over the course of two sunny days in Boston -- at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab -- thought leaders from across the energy sector convened for the 2013 Women in Clean Energy Symposium.

This annual event brings together entrepreneurs, academia, business and government to devise strategies to substantially increase women’s participation in the clean energy revolution. The hallmark of the symposium is an awards presentation, recognizing six mid-career women for outstanding leadership and accomplishments in clean energy, as well as a lifetime achievement award honoring a distinguished leader within the clean energy sector. 

More than ever, a key focus of the symposium was on building networks to drive change. In that vein, attendees strengthened connections, shared lessons learned and brainstormed during a full afternoon of presentations and speed networking sessions and an evening of working dinners in downtown Cambridge. Women graduate students shared their research related to climate change mitigation during the symposium’s annual poster competition -- receiving helpful feedback and support from fellow attendees.

On both days, some of the most innovative minds currently driving the global clean energy revolution shared inspiring speeches during daily panel sessions. While the panelists leading these discussions represented all branches of the energy sector, each emphasized a central theme: closing the gender gap in the energy sector is imperative to effectively solve our global clean energy challenges and mitigate the growing impact of climate change.

The annual Women in Clean Energy Symposium is a key component of the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) program led by the Energy Department in partnership with the MIT Energy Initiative. Launched at the inaugural Clean Energy Ministerial, the C3E initiative reflects the shared commitment among partner governments to advance women’s leadership in clean energy fields.

Check back with us on within the coming weeks for more on C3E, including a wrap-up video of the symposium and interviews highlighting C3E ambassadors